13. Watchdog Timer

The watchdog timer is a 12-bit timer running at 256 Hz (Slow Clock / 128). The maximum watchdog timeout period is therefore equal to 16 seconds. If enabled, the watchdog timer asserts a hardware reset at the end of the timeout period. The application program must always reset the watchdog timer before the timeout is reached. If an application program has crashed for some reason, the watchdog timer will reset the system, thereby reproducing a well defined state once again.

The Watchdog Mode Register can be written only once. After a processor reset, the watchdog is already activated and running with the maximum timeout period. Once the watchdog has been reconfigured or deactivated by writing to the Watchdog Mode Register, only a processor reset can change its mode once again.