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What is programmer in micro controller?

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    I am very interested to learn something about micro controller system and work with these. But I don't know much about this so perhaps my question is going to be very stupid one. The thing that I want to know is that what is programmer or burner in a micro controller. Is it a device that is used to send programs from pc to a microcontroller chip so that the chip can work with this program? Please clarify my doubt and help me learn..........
    With thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2
    Hey there!

    The programmer is a piece of software and hardware that "programs" the microcontroller. In other words, it is the gadget (SW/HW) that takes the binary file from your computer and puts it in the microcontroller.

    Since I have time, I'll just write some extra stuff.

    A microcontroller is a piece of hardware that consists of a CPU core, and several peripherals.

    Commonly used CPU's in microcontrollers are Atmel's AVR CPU's and ARM's CORTEX CPU's.

    The peripherals will be dedicated hardware stuff for communication (such as SPI, I2C, UART etc.) or different storage devices (Flash RAM, SRAM, EEPROM etc.).

    When power is turned on, the CPU is hardcoded to do a very specific task. Most commonly, it will load the instruction that is saved at the address 0x00 (the reset instruction).

    When you compile a program for a microcontroller, the file you get out of it (HEX or ELF file commonly), will contain all the instructions that make up your program. It also contains information about where to put these instructions inside the memory of the microcontroller.

    The programmer has the very important task of reading these HEX and ELF files, and then putting the instructions at the right places inside the memory.

    This is a generalization of how it all works, and there are several other things that will need to be taken care of, depending on the microcontroller used. But this is overall what its all about.

    Hope it helped :)
  4. Mar 12, 2013 #3
    Thanks Runei for your reply and help me on this.
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