How do I avoid micro controller failure modes?

Throughout our time in business, we have had the pleasure to supply an array of useful technologies. The starter kits are among the most important of these. Also known as evaluation and development kits, they will help you to start your journey with programming microcontrollers. We have AVR, FPGA, PLD, and PIC, as well as many others.

Microcontrollers (MCUs) are some of the most useful programming utensils you can find. Saying this, it is possible for them to experience what are known as failure modes. They may sound intimidating, but we are going to explain why they happen and what you can do to stop them.

The consequences of failure

The failure modes may have worse consequences than missing a deadline. This is within an embedded system. MCUs tend to be the centre of applications like security systems, medical devices, and payment machines. Systems of this nature require high stability. They have low tolerances for system failure rates too.

A microcontroller unit that leads to failure can produce a full standstill in your projects. In addition to inconveniencing users, this can create functional safety risks. That isn’t ideal for essential applications.

Now that you know how serious this topic is, let’s discuss why the failure modes happen. Then, if you need starter kits, you can order them from us.

Memory stack overflow

This is the first cause we will look at. The memory stack of a MCU is a designated location of the interior RAM that is supposed to be for temporary storage. A memory stack’s size is restricted and changes with individual MCUs. When a firmware programmer assigns a variable surpassing the stack size, an overflow can happen. It occurs during the runtime and can lead to the firmware producing a random hardware failure.

Illegal pointers

These also lead to failure modes. With MCU firmware programming, a pointer normally pinpoints the address of program functions or a variable. Using and declaring pointers requires that the firmware programmer stick to the stern syntax the programming language defines. You could be utilising an illegal pointer accidentally. If so, this can result in the MCU trying to process functions or variables in addresses. These are ones not within its valid range. You can end up with a crashed MCU.

What to do?

What firmware and hardware engineers need to do here is design an embedded system that is reliable. You should also plan memory allocation beforehand. These are some of the best practices you can adopt. With programmers, keeping things straightforward is an excellent tactic for reducing buggy codes.

Use our products when you need starter kits

At Kanda, we supply our products for very competitive rates. We have a huge range available, including accessories like 10-way jumper leads, 7-segment displays for X kits, and small prototype boards. You should be able to find everything you need.

So, if you need starter kits or anything else, feel free to call or email us. You can also browse our huge range online.

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