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.. _glossary:
Glossary of Terms
.. glossary::
(Application Program Interface) A defined set of routines and protocols for
building application software.
The set of user-supplied files that the Zephyr build system uses
to build an application image for a specified board configuration.
It can contain application-specific code, kernel configuration settings,
and at least one Makefile.
The application's kernel configuration settings direct the build system
to create a custom kernel that makes efficient use of the board's
An application can sometimes be built for more than one type of board
configuration (including boards with different CPU architectures),
if it does not require any board-specific capabilities.
application image
A binary file that is loaded and executed by the board for which
it was built.
Each application image contains both the application's code and the
Zephyr kernel code needed to support it. They are compiled as a single,
fully-linked binary.
Once an application image is loaded onto a board, the image takes control
of the system, initializes it, and runs as the system's sole application.
Both application code and kernel code execute as privileged code
within a single shared address space.
A target system with a defined set of devices and capabilities,
which can load and execute an application image. It may be an actual
hardware system or a simulated system running under QEMU.
The Zephyr kernel supports a :ref:`variety of boards <boards>`.
board configuration
A set of kernel configuration options that specify how the devices
present on a board are used by the kernel.
The Zephyr build system defines one or more board configurations
for each board it supports. The kernel configuration settings that are
specified by the build system can be over-ridden by the application,
if desired.
(Interrupt Descriptor Table) a data structure used by the x86
architecture to implement an interrupt vector table. The IDT is used
to determine the correct response to interrupts and exceptions.
(Interrupt Service Routine) Also known as an interrupt handler, an ISR
is a callback function whose execution is triggered by a hardware
interrupt (or software interrupt instructions) and is used to handle
high-priority conditions that require interrupting the current code
executing on the processor.
The set of Zephyr-supplied files that implement the Zephyr kernel,
including its core services, device drivers, network stack, and so on.
(eXecute In Place) a method of executing programs directly from long
term storage rather than copying it into RAM, saving writable memory for
dynamic data and not the static program code.