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Definition: emulator


Hardware, software or a combination of the two that enables a computer to run programs for another platform. In the past, an emulator was hardware, and a "simulator" was software. Today, emulator more often refers to software. For example, Apple's iOS "simulator" and Google's Android "emulator" are both software utilities that run their respective mobile apps in the computer for testing purposes.

An Emulator Is a Translator
Emulators translate the machine language of a foreign application into the machine language of the computer the emulator is running in. The operating system is either already in that computer or it too may be emulated. See Rosetta, emulate, x86 emulator, simulator, terminal emulation, Wine, 3270 emulator, disk emulator, FX 32, ROM emulator, ICE, Mac emulator and Virtual PC for Mac.