I have all configurations (eeprom data, fuses, lockbits) of my ATMega168A together with the code in my C files. The compilation creates an elf file that I use as an all-in-one programming file for production.
Just as a tryout, I converted the elf file to hex with avr-objcopy and saw that the code and configurations are still there (why wouldn't they).
My question is, if the two files are equivalent in case of using them for all-in-one programming. Is there any critical data stripping taking place between elf-to-hex conversion that could affect the actual programming?
Also, I tried again to convert the hex file to bin and saw again the same thing but of course with zero-padding. Except for the obvious different of file size, is there any practical difference when using the bin file and the hex file? Does this padding create any problems? (For example trying to write 0 to addresses that do not exist).
Thank you in advance.