Graduation date: 1997The application of the personal computer in the area of real-time process control\ud is investigated. Background information is provided regarding factory automation and\ud process control. The current use of the PC in the factory for data acquisition is\ud presented along with an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages associated\ud with extending the use of the PC to real-time process control. The use of interrupt-driven\ud and polled I/O to obtain real-time response is investigated and contrasted with\ud the use of a real-time operating system. A unique compilation of information provides\ud guidelines for selecting an implementation method for real-time control. Experimental\ud work is performed to evaluate the access time and latency periods for the hard drive,\ud video monitor, and I/O devices operating in a DOS environment. The execution speeds\ud of C and assembly language programs are investigated. A method to estimate the\ud performance of a real-time control system using polled or interrupt-driven I/O is\ud developed
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