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Hard vs. live real time systems

Anne Thomas Manes explains the difference between 'hard' real time and 'live' real time systems.

What is the difference between 'hard' real-time and 'live' real-time?
"Hard" real-time refers to a system that must complete its operation within a specified timeframe -- typically in tiny time units, e.g., microseconds. Hard real-time systems are typically used when interfacing with physical systems -- like a robotic system, anti-lock brakes, or a pacemaker. "Live" real-time refers to systems that interact with humans and must deliver results within a timeframe that doesn't cause the user to get frustrated with the delay.
This was last published in July 2008

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