CodeSourcery provides toolchains for many architectures, and among them there are “bare metal” toolchains that produce programs that can be run natively on the processor.
In the past I already explored some possibilities about developing bare metal ARM programs:
- Simplest bare metal program for ARM
- Hello world for bare metal ARM using QEMU
- Using Ubuntu ARM cross-compiler for bare metal programming
- Using Newlib in ARM bare metal programs
In my opinion the most interesting purpose of the bare metal toolchains is development on small microcontrollers, such as the ones based on Cortex-M processors.
My beloved QEMU is able to make me try a system without buying the hardware first; in particular, mainline QEMU can emulate the Texas Instruments Stellaris lm3s6965 microcontroller, which is a Cortex-M3 based chip that has 256KiB of Flash, 64KiB of RAM, some serial ports, ADConverters, timers and many other peripherals.
I wanted to be able…
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