Glossary

Find definitions for technical terms in our Embedded Systems Glossary.

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Introduction to On-Chip Debug

Motorola's Background Debug Mode is one of a variety of on-chip debug technologies. Collectively, they offer some of the best features of debug monitors and in-circuit emulators—with far less headache and cost.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

The address resolution protocol provides a necessary bridge between physical and logical addresses on a TCP/IP network.

Every system on a TCP/IP network has two addresses, one physical and one logical. The address resolution protocol (ARP) provides a necessary bridge between these two addresses.

MISRA-C Guidelines for Safety Critical Software

In 1998, the UK's Motor Industry Software Reliability Association established a set of 127 guidelines for the use of C in safety-critical systems. Here's a look at the rules, what they mean, and how they can work for you.

Uses for C's offsetof() Macro

C's seldom-used offsetof() macro can actually be a helpful addition to your bag of tricks. Here are a couple of places in embedded systems where the macro is indispensable, including packing data structures and describing how EEPROM data are stored.

Use Strings to Internationalize C Programs

Products destined for use in multiple countries often require user interfaces that support several human languages. Sloppy string management in your programs could result in unintelligible babble.

Efficient C Code for 8-bit Microcontrollers

The 8051, 68HC11, and Microchip PIC are popular microcontrollers, but they aren’t necessarily easy to program. This article shows how the use of ANSI C and compiler-specific constructs can help generate tighter code.

Portable Fixed-Width Integers in C

For embedded software developers, the most significant improvements to the C programming language made in the ISO C99 standard update are in the new <stdint.h> header file. Learn the typedef names for the new fixed width integer data types, to make hardware interfacing in C easier.

Computer programmers don't always care how wide an integer is when held by the processor. For example, when we write:

Short Range Wireless Protocols: Bluetooth vs. IrDA

As engineers design more and more products with embedded computer systems that require connections of one sort or another, we've got to pay attention to the ease with which these connections can be made. Short-range wireless protocols offer an attractive alternative to wired connections.

Jump Tables via Function Pointer Arrays in C/C++

Jump tables, also called branch tables, are an efficient means of handling similar events in software. Here's a look at the use of arrays of function pointers in C/C++ as jump tables.

Additive Checksums

Whenever you connect two or more computers together with the intent of exchanging information, you assume that the exchange will take place without errors. But what if some of the data is lost or corrupted in transit? Communication protocols usually attempt to detect such errors automatically. To do that they use checksums.

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