The compiler advantage

Baker, Bonnie
January 2005
EDN;1/20/2005, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p22
Trade Publication
This article offers ideas on choosing the right C compiler for an embedded-system projects. The embedded-system-industry trend is moving from using assembly to using higher level languages. Assembly language gives one more control over code size and execution speeds. However, embedded C is easy to understand and portable from platform to platform. Another benefit is that developing code in C generally improves one's product time to market. There are many issues to consider when choosing your compiler. The most important are American National Standards Institute (ANSI) compliance, size and speed optimizations, portability, and supporting tools. Adherence to the ANSI standard for the C language is critical for about 80 to 85 percent of the code. If the compiler of interest is ANSI-compliant, one should then examine the software's machine-code- generation capability. Portability between platforms is critical in larger companies that have a diverse range of products. Every compiler needs an integrated suite of tools. This tool suite should have, at a minimum, an integrated development environment that comes complete with simulator and a hardware-debugging interface.


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