“Bigger is better” is not true when it comes to program size of Embedded Computing Systems. Less is more. A smaller executable can get the same thing done with less program memory (Flash), resulting in the ability to use smaller Microcontrollers and potentially massive cost savings.
After a successful beta period, SEGGER has added the new Linker and Link-Time Optimisation (LTO) to the latest release build of their powerful cross-platform integrated development environments, Embedded Studio for ARM and Embedded Studio for Cortex-M.
The new product version delivers on the promise of programme size reduction, achieving a significant five to 12 per cent reduction over the previous version on typical applications, and even higher gains compared to conventional GCC tool chains. These savings are the result of the new LTO, combined with SEGGER’s Linker and Run-time library emLib-C. Through LTO, it is possible to optimise the entire application, opening the door for optimisation opportunities that are simply not available to the compiler.
The Linker adds features such as compression of initialised data and deduplication, as well as the flexibility of dealing with fragmented memory maps that embedded developers have to cope with. Like all SEGGER software, it is written from scratch for use in deeply embedded computing systems. Additionally, the size required by the included runtime library is significantly lower than that of runtime libraries used by most GCC tool chains.
“Our engineers have done an outstanding job! This new release of Embedded Studio for ARM and Cortex-M devices allows flash size savings on a scale I never thought possible,” says Dirk Akemann, marketing manager at SEGGER Microcontroller. “Embedded Studio is becoming more and more popular, and we are proud to support the educational community by having Embedded Studio available free of charge for non-commercial use.”