The term “real-time system” refers to hardware and software components that perform real-time application functions and can respond to events within predictable and specific time constraints.
Real-time systems are classified as soft real time or hard real time. A soft real-time classification means the system continues to function even if it’s unable to run within an allotted time. Most importantly, if the system has missed its deadline, it does not result in dangerous consequences. A hard-real-time classification means the system ceases to function if a deadline is missed, which can result in catastrophic consequences.
Real-time systems are key pieces of technology, and as such, they are used in a variety of industries with applications spanning from process automation systems to warehousing to production assembly lines, agriculture, and healthcare.