Study of software development tool chain (IDE)
To develop an assembly language program we need certain program development tools. An assembly language program consists of Mnemonics which are nothing but short abbreviated English instructions given to the controller.The various development tools required for Microcontroller programming are explained below.
An Editor is a program which allows us to create a file containing the assembly language statements for the program. Examples of some editors are PC write Wordstar. As we type the program the editor stores the ACSII codes for the letters and numbers in successive RAM locations. If any typing mistake is done editor will alert us to correct it. If we leave out a program statement an editor will let you move everything down and insert a line. After typing all the program we have to save the program . This we call it as source file. The next step is to process the source file with an assembler.
Ex: Sample. asm
An Assembler is used to translate the assembly language mnemonics into machine language( i.e binary codes). When you run the assembler it reads the source file of your program from where you have saved it. The assembler generates a filee with the extension .hex. This file consists of hexadecimal values encoding a sequence of data and their starting offset or absolute address.
A compiler is a program which converts the high level language program like “C” into binary or machine code. Using high level languages it is easy to manage complex data structures which are often required for data manipulation. Because of its ease , flexibility and debug options now a days the compilers have become very popular in the market. Compilers like Keil ,Ride and IAR workbench are very popular.
A debugger is a program which allows execute the program, and troubleshoot or debug it. The debugger allows to look into the contents of registers and memory locations after the program runs. We can also change the contents of registers and memory locations and rerun the program. Some debuggers allows to stop the program after each instruction so that you can check or alter memory and register contents. This is called single step debug. A debugger also allows to set a breakpoint at any point in the program. If we insert a break point , the debugger will run the program up to the instruction where the breakpoint is put and then stop the execution.
A simulator is a software program which virtually executes the instructions similar to a microcontroller and shows the results. This will help in evaluating the results without committing any errors. By doing so we can detect the possible logic errors
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