Many times when someone tells you that language X is “better” at something they really mean that it has better built-in libraries for that task. Java is a great example. The language isn’t all that different from C++ outside of garbage collection and multiple inheritance, but the standard libraries are super powerful, especially for networking. Even C relies on a library to provide a lot of functions people think of as part of the language —
printf, for example. That’s not really part of the C language, but just part of the standard library. When you are writing for a tiny processor, the choice of library is critical and [Keith Packard] offers you one choice: picolibc.
The library has its genesis from two other diminutive libraries: Newlib and the AVR version of libc. It provides support for ARC, ARM, i386, m68k, MIPS, MSP430, Nios II, PPC, RISC-V, Sparc64, x86_64, and the ESP8266/ESP32.
Continue reading “Pretty Petite Picolibc Powers Processors”
When writing code for a new hardware platform, the last thing you want to do is bother with the minutiae of I/O routines, string handling and other similarly tedious details that have nothing to do with the actual project. On bigger systems, this is where the C standard library would traditionally come into play.
For small embedded platforms like microcontrollers, resources are often tight enough that a full-blown stdlib won’t fit, which is why Newlib exists: to bring the portability benefits of a standard library to microcontrollers.
Whether you use C, C++ or MicroPython to program an MCU, Newlib is likely there under the hood. Yet how exactly does it integrate with the hardware, and how are system calls (syscalls) for e.g. file and input/output handling implemented? Continue reading “The Newlib Embedded C Standard Library And How To Use It”