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Back in the mid 1970s, the first systems appeared designed specifically to allow
software to be developed that would run on embedded hardware based on the new 8bit
Today there are many commercially available systems designed explicitly for developing software to run on embedded hardware. In almost all cases, the software is developed on a larger system (often a traditional PC), then downloaded to the target hardware for testing. Often the downloaded software can be debugged using software running on the larger system. The higher speed and much greater memory capacity of these modern controllers allow them to be programmed in high level languages such as ‘C’.
Because the software is developed on the larger computer, losing it when power to the micro controller is removed is not a problem. Additionally the memory in the controller is often flash memory, that retains its content when power is removed. Next time the controller is powered up, the previously loaded program will run automatically.