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There are two distinct ways to develop with TI processors and DSPs that determine what tools are needed to accomplish your project. Traditionally, most development is done with TI's Code Composer Studio using a JTAG emulator. Code Composer Studio is a full Windows based IDE with optimizing compilers, performance analysis tools and DSP/BIOS RTOS support. A JTAG emulator allows the debug tools to view the exact processor and memory state non-intrusively through an industry standard JTAG scan chain interface designed into the chips themselves. Most of the Texas Instruments standalone DSP infrastructure is based on this model.

Target based debug involves a higher-level environment where code running on the target itself provides debugging information. This can range from a simple ROM-based monitor to a full operating system like Linux. The target code virtualizes its environment, then communicates with a debugger running on a host machine to display debugging information.

Typically, hardware developers, device driver writers and DSP developers use JTAG based debug to get their systems working on new hardware, then transition to target based debug for software developers. Linux software developers typically fall into the target debug category (Linux tools on a Linux machine connected via a serial port or Ethernet cable) while hardware developers use JTAG emulators so they can do low level debug.

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