NULL pointer protection with ARM Cortex-M MPU

Miro Samek July 16, 2023

This post explains how you can set up the ARM Cortex-M MPU (Memory Protection Unit) to protect thy code from dragons, demons, core dumps, and numberless other foul creatures awaiting thee after thou dereference the NULL pointer.

Call for Bloggers!

Stephane Boucher July 12, 2023

Are you passionate about embedded systems? Do you have valuable insights, tips, or stories to share with the embedded community? Do you want to reach a large and engaged audience of embedded enthusiasts and professionals? We are currently looking at adding a few more inspired writers to our team of bloggers.

Bellegram, a wireless DIY doorbell that sends you a Telegram message

Sergio R Caprile July 9, 2023

A wireless button that uses the M5 STAMP PICO and Mongoose to send a Telegram message when pressed. The code is written in C

Getting Started with (Apache) NuttX RTOS Part 2 - Looking Inside and Creating Your Customized Image

Alan C Assis July 5, 2023

In the previous article (https://www.embeddedrelated.com/showarticle/1524.p...) we saw how to run NuttX RTOS using the SIMulator. Today we will see how NuttX's directory tree is organized and how to use the menuconfig to enable some applications, including some tricks to search and solve dependencies.

NuttX Directories organization:

If you have previously compiled the Linux kernel or the U-Boot bootloader you will see that the NuttX source tree organization is very...

Moulding the Embedded Systems Engineers of Tomorrow: Adapting to a Constantly Transforming Technological Terrain

Lance Harvie June 26, 2023

Embedded systems engineers, previously focused on device architecture, are now steering the digital era, encompassing firmware, software, complex silicon, and cloud computing. To keep pace, mastery in new areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cloud technologies is critical. In today's highly connected world, security is foundational to design, necessitating knowledge in encryption, secure coding, and data protection laws. Additionally, expertise in AI and ML is essential for managing vast global data, requiring understanding of ethical implications and effective system design for data analysis. The advent of cloud technology mandates learning about cloud architectures and data security. In this fast-paced field, continuous learning and adapting these new skills is the key to staying relevant and spearheading future advancements.

Getting Started With Zephyr: Kconfig

Mohammed Billoo June 22, 2023

In this blog post, we briefly look at Kconfig, one of the core pieces of the Zephyr infrastructure. Kconfig allows embedded software developers to turn specific subsystems on or off within Zephyr efficiently and control their behavior. We also learn how we can practically use Kconfig to control the features of our application using the two most common mechanisms.

An Iterative Approach to USART HAL Design using ChatGPT

Jacob Beningo June 19, 20239 comments

Discover how to leverage ChatGPT and an iterative process to design and generate a USART Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for embedded systems, enhancing code reusability and scalability. Learn the step-by-step journey, improvements made, and the potential for generating HALs for other peripherals.

Modern C++ in Embedded Development: (Don't Fear) The ++

Amar Mahmutbegovic June 13, 20232 comments

While C is still the language of choice for embedded development, the adoption of C++ has grown steadily. Yet, reservations about dynamic memory allocation and fears of unnecessary code bloat have kept many in the C camp. This discourse aims to explore the intricacies of employing C++ in embedded systems, negotiating the issues of dynamic memory allocation, and exploiting the benefits of C++ offerings like std::array and constexpr. Moreover, it ventures into the details of the zero-overhead principle and the nuanced distinctions between C and C++. The takeaway? Armed with the right knowledge and a careful approach, C++ can indeed serve as a powerful, safer, and more efficient tool for embedded development.

Getting Started with (Apache) NuttX RTOS - Part 1

Alan C Assis June 2, 20231 comment

NuttX RTOS is used in many products from companies like Sony, Xiaomi, Samsung, Google/Fitbit, WildernessLabs and many other companis. So, probably you are already using NuttX even without knowing it, like the you was using Linux on your TV, WiFi router more than 10 years ago and didn't know too! Today you will have the chance to discover a little bit of this fantastic Linux-like RTOS! Are you ready? So, let's get started!

Working with Strings in Embedded C++

Niall Cooling June 1, 20233 comments

This article discusses the use of strings in embedded systems. It explains how the need for and use of strings in embedded systems has changed with the advent of cheaper, full graphic displays and the growth of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). The article also covers character literals, C-Strings and string literals, and the difference in memory models between them. It also highlights the safety and security issues that arise from using strings in embedded systems. Finally, it explains how C++11 introduced a Raw string literal type that is useful for storing file paths or regular expressions.

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Driving WS2812 RGB LEDs

Mike Silva November 14, 201330 comments

This tutorial chapter is a bit of a detour, but I think an interesting and useful one.  It introduces a bit of assembly language programming, and demonstrates bit-banging a tight serial data protocol.  And it deals with RGB LEDs, which are just very fun in their own right, especially these new parts.  So I thought I'd post this to give readers time for some holiday lighting experimenting.

Back To The Future

Remember how we started this...

MSP430 LaunchPad Tutorial - Part 3 - ADC

Enrico Garante June 25, 20138 comments

In this new episode of our journey into MSP430 I will explain the basics of Analog to Digital Conversion on the MSP430G2231.We will write a program that will read an ADC channel and will toggle some leds based on the result of the conversion. 

We start as usual with the inclusion of the header file for the MSP430G2231, the leds stuff and with the definition of a variable that will store the result of the conversion. We also declare a function that will initialize the ADC...

Boot Sequence for an ARM based embedded system

DM January 16, 201231 comments

Hello all,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Deeksha and I come from plains of North India. My tryst with embedded technologies has been 5 years long and every single day I am amazed with the vastness and learning involved. The thing with embedded technologies is either you are into it, or you aren't. You cannot just hang around half-heartedly (I guess that holds true for every field, for that matter).You have to keep the learning and sharing process going on. And that is the reason I am...

Important Programming Concepts (Even on Embedded Systems) Part I: Idempotence

Jason Sachs August 26, 20146 comments

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of subtle concepts that contribute to high quality software design. Many of them are well-known, and can be found in books or the Internet. I’m going to highlight a few of the ones I think are important and often overlooked.

But first let’s start with a short diversion. I’m going to make a bold statement: unless you’re a novice, there’s at least one thing in computer programming about which you’ve picked up...

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Interrupts

Mike Silva September 18, 20136 comments

It's Too Soon To Talk About Interrupts!

That, at least, could be one reaction to this chapter.  But over the years I've become convinced that new microcontroller programmers should understand interrupts before being introduced to any complex peripherals such as timers, UARTs, ADCs, and all the other powerful function blocks found on a modern microcontroller.  Since these peripherals are commonly used with interrupts, any introduction to them that does not...

C++ on microcontrollers 1 - introduction, and an output pin class

Wouter van Ooijen October 9, 20117 comments


This blog series is about the use of C++ for modern microcontrollers. My plan is to show the gradual development of a basic I/O library. I will introduce the object-oriented C++ features that are used step by step, to provide a gentle yet practical introduction into C++ for C programmers.  Reader input is very much appreciated, you might even steer me in the direction you find most interesting.

I am lazy. I am also a programmer. Luckily, being a lazy...

10 Software Tools You Should Know

Jason Sachs May 20, 201215 comments

Unless you're designing small analog electronic circuits, it's pretty hard these days to get things done in embedded systems design without the help of computers. I thought I'd share a list of software tools that help me get my job done. Most of these are free or inexpensive. Most of them are also for working with software. If you never have to design, read, or edit any software, then you're one of a few people that won't benefit from reading this. 

Disclaimer: the "best" software...

Using the C language to program the am335x PRU

Fabien Le Mentec June 7, 201481 comments

Some weeks ago, I published an article on how we used the PRU to implement a power supply control loop having hard realtime constraints:


Writing this kind of logic in assembly language is not easy. First the assembly language itself may be difficult to learn depending on your background. Then, fixed and floating point arithmetics require lot of code. While macros help to handle the complexity, they still are error prone as you...

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Hello World

Mike Silva September 11, 201316 comments

Embedded Hello World

A standard first program on an embedded platform is the blinking LED.  Getting an LED to blink demonstrates that you have your toolchain set up correctly, that you are able to download your program code into the μC, and that the μC and associated circuitry (e.g. the power supply) is all working.  It can even give you good evidence as to the clock rate that your microcontroller is running (something that trips up a great many people,...