TCF provides a standard API and protocol for communicating with embedded systems for debugging, tracing, file transfer, terminal access and other services.
The key benefits of TCF (compared to gdb, ssh and related tools) are its flexible componentized structure which allows vendor-neutral plugging of individual services, as well as performance and robustness for complex multi-core systems. The context hierarchy supports addressing and OS awareness on nested virtual machines in a generic way. TCF is lightweight and easy to port. The protocol supports auto-discovery of peers, transparent proxying / tunneling, and security via SSL if desired. A full C/C++ debugger and the "Target Explorer" System Management Suite are provided as exemplary tools on top of the framework.
The TCF 1.1 release is focused on bug fixes and quality, though several enhancements have made it in as per the New & Noteworthy here: http://wiki.eclipse.org/TCF/NewIn11