Microcontroller Connections

This is a discussion on Microcontroller Connections within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; How are microcontrollers connected to PC's to be programmed? Is there some special port thingy that comes with the microcontroller? ...

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    31173 h4x0r gnu-ehacks's Avatar
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    Microcontroller Connections

    How are microcontrollers connected to PC's to be programmed? Is there some special port thingy that comes with the microcontroller? If so, what kind of port does it connect to?
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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    It depends on a lot of things. If you are using a sophisticated system with an OS running in the target, then the connection may be with serial or network connection, an example of this would be programming a Windows CE system with MS Platform builder, you can compile and run a configuration on the products built in emulator, or download it and run it in the target controlling it from your PC, or download it and run it autonomously.

    More basic systems use a special piece of hardware that connects to your host by whatever means are available, serial, parallel or network - depends on the machine, (more likely, the age of the machine). This hardware can "blow" a PROM or a gate array in an associated chip which the uC uses, or directly into part of the uC itself.

    For most modern uC's, you tend to buy the development system from the chip manufacturer, although there are a few third party systems around, particulaly for blowing PROM's.
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