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Digital mishaps


Kevin Weddle
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I am curious when it comes to digital communication errors. We know that that there are error detection schemes in use to help catch these errors. We also know that these errors occur in products that have been fully tested and have no hardware problems. One question I have is why are these errors occuring. Is it marginal design? Is it a timing problem within the program? Could it be that the construction of the microcontroller lacks some integrity because they utilize so many circuits? How often do these errors really occur in the field such that the data is retransmitted again without anybody being the wiser.

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Hi Kevin,
I worked with large telephone systems that had many distributed microcontrollers. Interrupts were occuring all over the place and the main microprocessor continued functioning quickly in an orderly fashion.
If a complicated circuit has a single microcontroller or microprocessor doing everything then either it will slow to a crawl or miss important things.

Dialup modem communication is a different animal. It tries to communicate at 56k (a joke unless your ISP is next door) then falls back to 44k, 33k etc. It will finally settle on a data rate that doesn't have too many errors that require re-transmission. ;D

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