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Many embedded systems must continually react to changes in the system’s environment and must compute certain results in real time without delay. For example, a car’s cruise controller continually monitors and reacts to speed and brake sensors. It must compute acceleration or deceleration amounts repeatedly within a limited time; a delayed computation could result in a failure to maintain control of the car. In contrast a desktop computer system typically focuses on computations, with relatively infrequent (from the computer’s perspective) reactions to input devices. In addition, a delay in those computations, while perhaps inconvenient to the computer user, typically does not result in a system failure. 

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