Percent Guesstimate of Embedded Chips with Date Function : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Although the purpose of this website does NOT include a discussion of technical issues, in order to evaluate the seriousness of the y2k problem, it would extremely useful to guesstimate the percentage of embedded chips in industrial processes which have a date related function. If the real-time clock (RTC) in an embedded chips do not have a date function, it can't wreak havoc with industrial processes. Anyone out there have the expertize to guesstimate: the prevalence of embedded chips with date functions, and the prevalence of same with non-compliant date functions?

-- Edward H. Greenberg (, January 17, 1998


I think you are wrong about your assumption that an embedded system without a date function cannot wreak havok on process control systems. Here is why (and this is not original with me, I read it somewhere else on the web): All chips have some initial starting point for their timers, 1/1/1980, the presiden't birthday, 1/1/1900, it doesn't matter. Even in systems where the real time clock is used to only determine duration, as in stop now and start in 30 minutes, the date rollover will occur and 1/1/00 will be less than 12/31/99. Thus, if the chip says to stop a process at 12/31/99 23:47:00 and expects to start it in 30 minutes at 01/01/00 00:17:00 it will never start because 01/01/00 is less than 12/31/99 and the time will never be equal to the desired start time.

That is all by way of giving you my short answer to your question, 100%.

-- George Valentine (, March 22, 1998.

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