A Tale of Many Divisions – Naive Prime Factorization Across a Handful of Architectures

Compiler Explorer Dissassembly

CNXSoft: Another guest post by blu where he looks at how a small piece of code involving divisions behaves on different architectures. Once upon a time (i.e. the other week) I was giving tips to my 5th-grader how to efficiently compute least common multiples, when it struck me I could do better ‒ I could write a prime factorizer that could be useful to the elementary-school-goers in this house, as well as to the people checking the formers’ homeworks. Moreover, a naive prime factorizer could show kids how computers would carry out algorithms taught in class. There was also a bit of curiosity involved ‒ last time I wrote a prime factorizer I was in high school, and the language was Applesoft BASIC, so 30 years later, armed with a modern C++ arsenal and a supercomputer (by late ‘80s standards), I wondered what one might come up with today, approaching the problem from first principle (sorry, no Euler today). The […]

Aspencore 2017 Embedded Markets Study – Programming Languages, Operating Systems, MCU Vendors, and More

Aspencore media group asked readers of their EE Times and Embedded.com websites to fill out an online survey about their embedded system projects. They got 1,234 respondents mostly from North America (56.3%), followed by Europe (25.2%), and Asia (10.6%). This resulted in a 102-page market study which you can download here. I’ve extracted a few slides to have a look at some of the trends. C language is still the most used language in embedded systems, but other languages like C++, Python and even assembly language are gaining traction. Operating system is more spread with Linux being the most used via Embedded Linux distributions, Debian, and Ubuntu. FreeRTOS comes in second place, while Android registers fourth with 13%. Git has finally supplanted Subversion in 2017, with all other version control software losing ground. Switching to some hardware slides, 44% used a development board to start their embedded design with ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments and Xilinx at the top three. Most […]

Top 10 Programming Languages in 2016 for Embedded Software Development

IEEE Spectrum has published a list of the top programming languages in 2016 for Web, Mobile, Enterprise, and Embedded sectors with rankings created by weighting and combining 12 metrics from 10 sources. So I thought it would be fun to have a look at the top 10 of languages used for embedded software, and the results are: As expected, C and C++ are at the top, but I’m quite surprised that “Arduino” is now considered a programming language, as it is simply based on C/C++.  When I worked as an embedded software engineer a few years ago, I personally used C, and Assembly, and to a lesser extend C++ and VHDL. I only recently started to play with Arduino code, and while I’ve heard of most other languages in the list, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Ladder Logic, probably because it’s designed to program PLCs in industrial control applications. The methodology used is interesting, as the company did […]

ARM NEON Tutorial in C and Assembler

The Advanced SIMD extension (aka NEON or “MPE” Media Processing Engine) is a combined 64- and 128-bit single instruction multiple data (SIMD) instruction set that provides standardized acceleration for media and signal processing applications similar to MMX, SSE and 3DNow! extensions found in x86 processors. Doulos has a video tutorial showing how you can exploit NEON instructions in assembler, how to modify your C code and provides the compile options for gcc to enable NEON during the build. Abstract: With the v7-A architecture, ARM has introduced a powerful SIMD implementation called NEON™. NEON is a coprocessor which comes with its own instruction set for vector operations. While NEON instructions could be hand coded in assembler language, ideally we want our compiler to generate them for us. Automatic analysis whether an iterative algorithm can be mapped to parallel vector operations is not trivial not the least because the C language is lacking constructs necessary to support this. This paper explains how […]

LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine) Compiler Infrastructure

The Low Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) is a compiler and toolchain infrastructure, written in C++, designed for compile-time, link-time, run-time, and “idle-time” optimization of programs written in arbitrary programming languages. Originally implemented for C/C++, LLVM is now used with a variety programming languages such as Python, Ruby and may others. Code in the LLVM project is licensed under the “UIUC” BSD-Style license. LLVM can be used to replace and/or supplement the GNU tools such as gcc, g++, gdb, etc… LLVM now consists of a number of different sub-projects including: The LLVM Core libraries provide a source- and target-independent optimizer, along with code generation support for many popular CPUs. These libraries are built around a well specified code representation known as the LLVM intermediate representation (“LLVM IR”). The LLVM Core libraries are well documented, and it is particularly easy to invent your own language (or port an existing compiler) to use LLVM as an optimizer and code generator. Clang is a […]

What Programming Language Should I Learn ?

“What programming language should I  learn ?” is a question often asked by people new to software development. The answer is always “it depends”. But for embedded systems, it seems C language is a must as you can see in the chart below (Source: “The 2011 Embedded Market Study” by Embedded.com). For the 2011 survey, 1886 respondents from across the embedded industry answered that their embedded project was mostly programmed in C language  (62%), followed by C++ (22%), assembler (5%) and Java (2%). The other languages were all under 1%.   Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com