What is a monitor program ?

A monitor is a program installed in the micro controller, which provides basic development and debug capabilities. Typical capabilities of a micro controller monitor include: loading object files into system RAM, executing programs, examining and modifying memory and registers, code disassembly, setting breakpoints, and single-stepping through code. 

Some simple monitors only allow basic functions such as memory inspection, and the more sophisticated monitors are capable of a full range of debug functions. Monitors can either communicate with a dumb terminal or with a host computer such as a PC. Much of the work of the monitor (such as user interface) can be offloaded to the host PC running a program designed to work with the monitor. This makes it possible to reduce the size and complexity of the code that must be installed in the target system.

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