A watchdog timer (WDT; sometimes called a computer operating properly or COP timer, or simply a watchdog) is an electronic timer that is used to detect and recover from microprocessor malfunctions.
During normal operation, the microprocessor regularly restarts the watchdog timer to prevent it from elapsing, or "timing out".
If, due to a hardware fault or program error, the microprocessor fails to restart the watchdog, the timer will elapse and generate a timeout signal. The timeout signal is used to initiate corrective action or actions. The corrective actions typically include placing the microprocessor system in a safe state and restoring normal system operation. read more