In today’s world, we use microprocessor-based equipment to help make our operations faster and more efficient. It is difficult to find a toaster, let alone a sophisticated control system, that is not microprocessor-based. This technology has revolutionized the way the world does business, allowing us to handle information at an ever-accelerating rate.
However, with the advent of micro-processors, it has become apparent that the same environment which was adequate for equipment based on older technology, (take, for example, vacuum tubes), may not be adequate to allow new technologies to operate at their maximum reliability.
The newer technologies are much more susceptible to damage from all types of transients. Electronic equipment is consistently susceptible to these transients which can cause damage ranging from catastrophic failure to minor damage; eventually accumulating to the point of unreliable or random operation or ultimate failure. And, as devices operate faster, the problems become worse. It is not possible to make electricity travel faster. So, in order to make a device operate faster, the distances which the electricity must travel is reduced. As the distances and clearances are reduced, arc-over voltages become lower, exacerbating vulnerability to damage from transients.
When developing a system, the primary objective is to make it work to further its specific goals.