Development platform and target platform

Embedded C interview question

What is development platform and target platform ?

Answer

Refers to the situation where two computers are involved in the software development process - one computer to develop software (edit, compile, link, etc.), referred to as the host, and one computer to run the software, referred to as the target. The target is the actual product on which the software is to run. In most common situations, the host and target are the same. For example, a word processor is developed on the PC and runs as a product on the PC. However, for various real-time and embedded systems, this is not the case. Consider a small single board computer that controls a robot arm. 

The software cannot be developed on this board because it has no keyboard, display, or disk, and therefore, a host computer, like a PC, is used to develop the software. At some point, when it is believed that the software is ready for testing, the software is compiled and linked to form an executable file, and the file is downloaded to the target, typically over an RS-232 serial connection. Debugging on the target is typically done with an ICE.

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