C to C++: 5 Tips for Refactoring C Code into C++

Jacob Beningo July 23, 20235 comments

The article titled "Simple Tips to Refactor C Code into C++: Improve Embedded Development" provides essential guidance for embedded developers transitioning from C to C++. The series covers fundamental details necessary for a seamless transition and emphasizes utilizing C++ as a better C rather than diving into complex language features. The article introduces five practical tips for refactoring C code into C++. Replace #define with constexpr and const: Discouraging the use of #define macros, the article advocates for safer alternatives like constexpr and const to improve type safety, debugging, namespaces, and compile-time computation. Use Namespaces: Demonstrating the benefits of organizing code into separate logical groupings through namespaces, the article explains how namespaces help avoid naming conflicts and improve code readability. Replace C-style Pointers with Smart Pointers and References: Emphasizing the significance of avoiding raw pointers, the article suggests replacing them with C++ smart pointers (unique_ptr, shared_ptr, weak_ptr) and using references

Why Should Unit Tests Feel Like Simulations?

Amar Mahmutbegovic July 23, 2023

Unit tests are designed to test units of software, but what exactly is a unit of software? It can be a function or a method, a class, or even an entire module. 

If you're just starting with unit testing, chances are you're testing the implementation of a function or a method. Consequently, if the implementation changes, you must update your tests as well, which can render the entire process pointless. This is often the case with small pieces of code, particularly in embedded development,...

Getting Started With Zephyr: Devicetrees

Mohammed Billoo July 18, 20232 comments

This blog post provides an introduction to the "Devicetree", another unique concept in The Zephyr Project. We learn about the basic syntax of a device tree and how its structure and hierarchy mirror hardware, from the SoC to the final board. We also see how hardware described in a devicetree can be referenced and controlled in the source code of a Zephyr-based application.

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, 202311 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.

Introduction to Microcontrollers - 7-segment displays & Multiplexing

Mike Silva August 14, 20142 comments

Doing the 7 Segment Shuffle

The 7 segment display is ubiquitous in the modern world.  Just about every digital clock, calculator and movie bomb has one.  The treadmills at my gym have 6 or 7, each one displaying 3 or 4 digits.  What makes the 7-seg interesting is that it presents an opportunity to make a trade off between GPIO (output pins) for time.  Every 7-seg display requires 8 outputs (the 7 segments and usually either a decimal point or a...

Cortex-M Exception Handling (Part 1)

Ivan Cibrario Bertolotti November 28, 20152 comments

This article describes how Cortex-M processors handle interrupts and, more generally, exceptions, a concept that plays a central role in the design and implementation of most embedded systems.

Important Programming Concepts (Even on Embedded Systems) Part IV: Singletons

Jason Sachs November 11, 20142 comments

Other articles in this series:

Today’s topic is the singleton. This article is unique (pun intended) in that unlike the others in this series, I tried to figure out a word to use that would be a positive concept to encourage, as an alternative to singletons, but

Lost Secrets of the H-Bridge, Part III: Practical Issues of Inductor and Capacitor Ripple Current

Jason Sachs August 24, 20133 comments

We've been analyzing the ripple current in an H-bridge, both in an inductive load and the DC link capacitor. Here's a really quick recap; if you want to get into more details, go back and read part I and part II until you've got equations coming out of your ears. I promise there will be a lot less grungy math in this post. So let's get most of it out of the way:

Switches QAH and QAL are being turned on and off with pulse-width modulation (PWM), to produce an average voltage DaVdc on...

Introduction to Microcontrollers - More On Interrupts

Mike Silva September 25, 2013

A Little More Detail About The Interrupt Mechanism

It's time to look a little closer at what happens in an interrupt request and response.  Again this is in general terms, and different microcontroller designs may do things somewhat differently, but the basics remain the same.  Most but not all interrupt requests are latched, which means the interrupt event sets a flag that stays set even if the interrupt event then goes away.  It is this latched flag...

Linear Feedback Shift Registers for the Uninitiated, Part I: Ex-Pralite Monks and Finite Fields

Jason Sachs July 3, 20176 comments

Later there will be, I hope, some people who will find it to their advantage to decipher all this mess.

— Évariste Galois, May 29, 1832

I was going to call this short series of articles “LFSRs for Dummies”, but thought better of it. What is a linear feedback shift register? If you want the short answer, the Wikipedia article is a decent introduction. But these articles are aimed at those of you who want a little bit deeper mathematical understanding, with some practical...

Lost Secrets of the H-Bridge, Part I: Ripple Current in Inductive Loads

Jason Sachs July 8, 2013

So you think you know about H-bridges? They're something I mentioned in my last post about signal processing with Python.

Here we have a typical H-bridge with an inductive load. (Mmmmm ahhh! It's good to draw by hand every once in a while!) There are four power switches: QAH and QAL connecting node A to the DC link, and QBH and QBL connecting node B to the DC link. The load is connected between nodes A and B, and here is represented by an inductive load in series with something else. We...

Delayed printf for real-time logging

Yossi Kreinin October 25, 20133 comments

You often debug by adding a few printfs and looking at the logs. In some real-time/low-level contexts though, you don't have time for text formatting.

You don't want prints to affect timing too much, because then timing-related bugs you're chasing might disappear. And you certainly don't want the system to stop functioning altogether because prints cause it to miss real-time deadlines.

A common alternative to prints is more "raw" logging - an event buffer, where event is a union keeping...

Android for Embedded Devices - 5 Reasons why Android is used in Embedded Devices

Maharajan Veerabahu November 6, 20173 comments

The embedded purists are going to hate me for this. How can you even think of using Android on an embedded system ? It’s after all a mobile phone operating system/software. 

Sigh !! Yes I did not like Android to begin with, as well - for use on an Embedded System. But sometimes I think the market and needs decide what has to be used and what should not be. This is one such thing. Over the past few years, I have learned to love Android as an embedded operating system....

Visual Studio Code Extensions for Embedded Software Development

Jacob Beningo March 22, 20238 comments

Visual Studio Code has become one of the most popular IDEs in the world. To date, software developers have downloaded it more than 40 million times! I suspect you’ve at least heard of it, if not already attempting to use it. Visual Studio Code allows developers to easily customize their development environment which can help them accelerate development, minimize bugs, and make developing software overall much better.

One challenge with Visual Studio Code is that embedded software...