Debugging 8-Bit Processors without Bags of Money
A personal computer can become an inexpensive but versatile device for capturing the execution of relatively slow embedded processors. 8-bit microprocessors though small and slow are the right choice for many embedded devices. But even with 8-bit processors, you need to trace the execution of the processor in order to debug the code in a reasonable time frame. There are some very expensive capture or trace devices on the market but they are designed for tracing very fast processors and are overkill for tracing small processors. Because small processors are very slow compared to the speeds of new personal computers, a PC can be used as an effective capture device. All that is needed is a few data capture boards, an application to capture trace data directly to a hard disk and some scripts to analyze and display the results. Using real world examples, this paper shows how to turn a personal computer into a capture device and how to develop scripts to use the captured trace data for debugging.
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