To finish a working prototype of an embedded system can take a great deal of time, even months. It takes days to just complete a minor portion of the project. With new updates jumping every day, it can be hindrance to your productivity. So just like humans, embedded systems come in different shapes, sizes and most importantly capabilities and functionalities. It not only responds to a higher controller in chain of command but also performs variety of tasks with maximum efficiency. But when it is disrupted by requests from other controllers then it compromises on its efficiency.
How does it work?
The simple way these embedded systems communicate is through a structure of masters-slave. A singular embedded system is designated as a master and is supposed to communicate with other connected embedded systems. Embedded system’s master-slave communication model has a predictable pattern in which the messages are transmitted along the interface. Slave controllers cannot transmit any data until and unless master controller requests it to do so.
There are many projects that can employ this master slave communication. For instance, it can be used in rubber manufacturing machines. Many industries have been employing this technology to enhance their functions.
However, there are some subtleties to take into account when developing a master-slave embedded system or otherwise you will face a number of problems after deployment. Here are some considerations to take into account:
- The first factor to take into account is processing power of microcontrollers. Master and slave controllers are powered by microcontrollers. Each have a different processing power. Master controllers have a more powerful one than slave controllers. Since slave controllers perform specific tasks, equip them with a lower range.
- It is possible to link your master controller with as many slave controllers you want to keeping in mind communication interface standards. But this is impractical. The reality is a bit different. You want to consider effects connecting a large number of slave controllers on single channel will have on the speed of information retrieval. If there is a requirement from master controller that the updates need to be refreshed at a quicker rate then the count of slave controllers connected to a single channel needs to be limited.
- You must design it for redundancy. Embedded systems with master-slave configuration are generally connected with a single cable that connects from one controller to another. This method is simple and costs low but the series system puts the entire system at risk. If the cable breaks, the entire system goes faulty. If a cable breaks between fifth and sixth controller, the initial communication breaks down as well.
- Adding a redundant connection from master controller to final slave controller is important as a backup. The backup connections can be good to restore communications.
- Choose the right microcontroller and all the important components. This is indispensable for the system to work properly. You must access the components from quality platforms in order for a simplification of processes.