Developing Embedded Systems - A Tools Introduction

Developing software and hardware for microcontroller based systems involves the use of a range of tools that can include editors, assemblers, compilers, debuggers, simulators, emulators and Flash/OTP programmers. To the newcomer to microcontroller development it is often not clear how all of these different components play together in the development cycle and what differences there are for example between starter kits, emulators and simulators.

To complicate matters more, there are quite a number of different approaches and technologies for emulation available that make it difficult for even seasoned embedded engineers to pick the right tools. This article gives a short explanation of the different tools involved in the microcontroller development cycle, with a particular focus on the different emulator types and their advantages and disadvantages.

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