Real-Time Computing (RTC) System

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A Real-Time Computing (RTC) System is a computing system that is a real-time system (which can solve a real-time task within a specified deadline).



  • (Wikipedia, 2020) ⇒ Retrieved:2020-10-28.
    • Real-time computing (RTC), or reactive computing is the computer science term for hardware and software systems subject to a "real-time constraint", for example from event to system response. Real-time programs must guarantee response within specified time constraints, often referred to as "deadlines".[1]

      Real-time responses are often understood to be in the order of milliseconds, and sometimes microseconds. A system not specified as operating in real time cannot usually guarantee a response within any timeframe, although typical or expected response times may be given. Real-time processing fails if not completed within a specified deadline relative to an event; deadlines must always be met, regardless of system load.

      A real-time system has been described as one which "controls an environment by receiving data, processing them, and returning the results sufficiently quickly to affect the environment at that time". The term "real-time" is also used in simulation to mean that the simulation's clock runs at the same speed as a real clock, and in process control and enterprise systems to mean "without significant delay". Real-time software may use one or more of the following: synchronous programming languages, real-time operating systems, and real-time networks, each of which provide essential frameworks on which to build a real-time software application. Systems used for many mission critical applications must be real-time, such as for control of fly-by-wire aircraft, or anti-lock brakes, both of which demand immediate and accurate mechanical response.

  1. Ben-Ari, Mordechai; "Principles of Concurrent and Distributed Programming", ch. 16, Prentice Hall, 1990, , page 164


A real-time operating system that is able to handle hard real-time tasks is called a hard real-time system. Typically, real-world applications include hard, firm, and soft activities; therefore a hard real-time system should be designed to handle all such task categories using different strategies. In general, when an application consists of a hybrid task set, all hard tasks should be guaranteed off line, firm tasks should be guaranteed on line, aborting them if their deadline cannot be met, and soft tasks should be handled to minimize their average response time.


  • (Wiktionary, 2009a) ⇒
    • 1. (computing) of a system that responds to events or signals within a predictable time after their occurrence; specifically the response time must be within the maximum allowed.