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PID without a PhD: A Simple Software Controller Design Method

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The full article PID without a PhD was published in the October 2000 issue of Embedded Systems Programming magazine. It is written to provide the embedded software engineer with a simple design method for writing a PID controller in software, without requiring any formal knowledge of control theory.

The article contains simple source code for a PID controller, along with a method for tuning PID controllers that, if one isn't too ambitious, gives fairly good performance with a fairly good chance that the system will be stable under a variety of conditions. For systems that need to have the absolute best performance, or for systems whose stability over time or manufacturing variation must be guaranteed, more advanced methods must be used.

For those times when advanced methods must be used, see the book Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems by Tim Wescott.