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A watchdog timer (WDT) is an embedded timing device that automatically prompts corrective action upon system malfunction detection. If software hangs or is lost, a WDT resets the system microcontroller via a 16-bit counter.
Computers lacking embedded WDTs often require installed WDT expansion cards.
A WDT is also known as a computer operating properly (COP) timer.
A WDT enables embedded system self-reliance in two ways:
One WDT may monitor another to ensure saved and completed data tasks within a designated period this cascading of WDT ensures that when a system failure is being monitored by a WDT, that the WDT itself does not hang too.
WDT provides additional features, as follows:
WDTs can exist in software, as a separate hardware microprocessor, or as a microcontrolled subprocessor within a CPU or other parts of the chipset.