Chapter 5. Downloading and Debugging

I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs.

Maurice Wilkes, Head of the Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, 1959

Once you have an executable binary image stored as a file on the host computer, you will need a way to download that image to the embedded system and execute it. The executable binary image is usually loaded into a memory device on the target board and executed from there. And if you have the right tools at your disposal, it will be possible to set breakpoints in the program or to observe its execution in less intrusive ways. This chapter describes various techniques for downloading, executing, and debugging embedded software in general, as well as focuses on the techniques available on our development environment.

Downloading the Blinking LED Program

With most embedded systems, there are several means to get an image onto the target and run the program, some more challenging than others. In this section, we investigate the methods available for downloading the Blinking LED program onto the Arcom board, as well as some other methods that may be useful for other projects.

The software development cycle for a PC and an embedded system include many of the same stages. Figure 5-1 is a general diagram of the embedded software development cycle.

Figure 5-1. Software development cycle

As shown in Figure 5-1, the software ...

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