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Announcement July 2021

We are now refining the examples for Real-Time C++ 4th Edition. This activity is planned to be finished by July/August 2021.

New examples include chapter03_02, chapter04_04 and chapter04_04a, chapter06_14, chapter10_08 and chapter10_08a both having advanced level, chapter10_09 having advanced level, chapter11_07, and chapter16_08 having advanced level.

Companion code for the book Real-Time C++
Build Status

This is the companion code for the book C.M. Kormanyos, Real-Time C++: Efficient Object-Oriented and Template Microcontroller Programming, Third Edition (Springer, Heidelberg, 2018). ISBN 9783662567173

This repository has three main parts.

Details on the Reference Application

The reference application boots via a small startup code and subsequently initializes a skinny microcontroller abstraction layer (MCAL). Control is then passed to a simple multitasking scheduler that schedules the LED application, calls a cyclic a benchmark task, and services the watchdog. The LED application toggles a user-LED with a frequency of 1/2 Hz.

Supported Targets in the Reference Application

The reference application supports the following targets:

  • MICROCHIP(R) [former ATMEL(R)] AVR(R) ATmega328P
  • MICROCHIP(R) [former ATMEL(R)] AVR(R) ATmega2560
  • MICROCHIP(R) [former ATMEL(R)] AVR(R) ATmegax4809
  • BeagleBone with Texas Instruments(R) AM335x ARM(R) A8
  • Espressif (XTENSA) NodeMCU ESP32
  • NXP(R) OM13093 LPC11C24 board ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M0
  • RaspberryPi(R) Zero with ARM(R) 1176-JZF-S
  • Renesas(R) RL78/G13
  • Renesas(R) RX600
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32F100 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32L100 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32L152 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32F407 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M4
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32F429 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M4
  • ST Microelectronics(R) STM32F446 ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M4
  • VC, MinGW, or other *nix-like generic host

Getting Started with the Reference Application

It is easiest to get started with the reference application using one of the supported boards, such as Arduino or RaspberryPi ZERO or BeagleBone, etc. The reference application can be found in the directory ./ref_app and its subdirectories.

The reference application uses cross-development based on *nix-like make tools in combination with either Bash Shell and GNU make, Microsoft(R) Visual Studio(R) via External Makefile or CMake. Tool chains are not available in this repo (see below for further details).

Build with Bash Shell Script and GNU make

To get started with the reference application on *nix

  • Open a terminal in the directory ./ref_app.
  • The terminal should be located directly in ./ref_app for the paths to work out (be found by the upcoming build).
  • Identify the Bash shell script ./ref_app/target/build/
  • Consider which configuration (such as target avr) you would like to build.
  • Execute with the command: ./target/build/ avr rebuild.
  • This shell script calls GNU make with parameters avr rebuild which subsequently rebuilds the entire solution for target avr.
  • If you're missing AVR GCC tools and need to get them on *nix, run sudo apt install gcc-avr avr-libc.

In summary, on *nix for target avr

cd real-time-cpp
cd ref_app
./target/build/ avr rebuild

Build with VisualStudio(R) Project and CMD Batch

To get started with the reference application on Win*

  • Start Visual Studio(R) 2019 (or later)
  • Open the solution ./ref_app/ref_app.sln.
  • Select the desired configuration.
  • Then rebuild the entire solution.

Note that the build in Visual Studio(R) makes heavy use of cross development using a project workspace of type external makefile in order to invoke GNUmake via batch file. The build process runs in combination with several makefiles.

To build any target other than Debug or Release for Win32, a cross-compiler (GNU GCC cross compiler) is required. See the text below for additional details.

Upon successful build, the build results, such as the HEX-files, map files, etc., will be placed in the bin directory.

There is also a workspace solution for ATMEL(R) Atmel Studio(R) 7. It is called ./ref_app/ref_app.atsln.

Build with Cross-Environment CMake

Cross-Environment CMake can build the reference application. For this purpose, CMake files have also been created for each supported target.

Consider, for instance, building the reference application for the avrtarget with CMake. The pattern is shown below.

cd real-time-cpp
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../ref_app -DTRIPLE=avr -DTARGET=avr -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../ref_app/cmake/gcc-toolchain.cmake
make -j ref_app

Switch from avr to, for instance, bcm2835_raspi_b or stm32f446 to build for one of the supported ARM(R) targets such as RaspberryPi(R) Zero with ARM(R) 1176-JZF-S or ST Microelectronics(R) STM32F446 ARM(R) featuring Cortex(TM)-M4.

Following the standard *nix pattern to build with x86_64-w64-mingw32 or host from the MSYS or Cygwin console should work too.

Target Details

Target details including startup code and linker definition files can be found in the target-directory and its subdirectories.

The MICROCHIP(R) [former ATMEL(R)] AVR(R) configuration called target avr runs on a classic ARDUINO(R) compatible board. The program toggles the yellow LED on portb.5.

The MICROCHIP(R) [former ATMEL(R)] ATmega4809 configuration called target atmega4809 runs on an ARDUINO(R) EVERY compatible board clocked with the internal resonator at 20MHz. The program toggles the yellow LED on porte.2.

The Espressif (XTENSA) NodeMCU ESP32 implementation uses a subset of the Espressif SDK to run the reference application with a single OS task exclusively on 1 of its cores.

The NXP(R) OM13093 LPC11C24 board ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M0 configuration called "target lpc1124" toggles the LED on port0.8.

The ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3 configuration (called target stm32f100) runs on the STM32VLDISCOVERY board commercially available from ST Microelectronics(R). The program toggles the blue LED on portc.8.

The second ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3 configuration (called target stm32l100c) runs on the STM32L100 DISCOVERY board commercially available from ST Microelectronics(R). The program toggles the blue LED on portc.8.

The third ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3 configuration (called target stm32l152) runs on the STM32L152C-DISCO board commercially available from ST Microelectronics(R). The program toggles the blue LED on portb.6.

The first ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M4 configuration (called target stm32f407) runs on the STM32F4DISCOVERY board commercially available from ST Microelectronics(R). The program toggles the blue LED on portd.15.

Another ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M4 configuration (called target stm32f446) runs on the STM32F446 Nucleo-64 board commercially available from ST Microelectronics(R). The program toggles the green LED on porta.5.

The ARM(R) A8 configuration (called target am335x) runs on the BeagleBone board (black edition). For the white edition, the CPU clock needs to be reduced from 900MHz to something like 600MHz. This project creates a bare-metal program for the BeagleBone that runs independently from any kind of *nix distro on the board. Our program is designed to boot the BeagleBone from a raw binary file called MLO stored on a FAT32 SDHC microcard. The binary file includes a special boot header comprised of two 32-bit integers. The program is loaded from SD-card into RAM memory and subsequently executed. When switching on the BeagleBone black, the boot button (S2) must be pressed while powering up the board. The program toggles the first user LED (LED1 on port1.21).

The ARM(R) 1176-JZF-S configuration (called target bcm2835_raspi_b) runs on the RaspberryPi(R) Zero (PiZero) single core controller. This project creates a bare-metal program for the PiZero. This program runs independently from any kind of *nix distro on the board. Our program is designed to boot the PiZero from a raw binary file. The raw binary file is called kernel.img and it is stored on a FAT32 SDHC microcard. The program objcopy can be used to extract raw binary from a ELF-file using the output flags -O binary. The kernel.img file is stored on the SD card together with three other files: bootcode.bin, start.elf and (an optional) config.txt, all described on internet. A complete set of PiZero boot contents for an SD card running the bare-metal reference application are included in this repo. The program toggles the GPIO status LED at GPIO index 0x47.

For other compatible boards, feel free contact me directly or submit an issue requesting support for your desired target system.


Benchmarks provide scalable, portable C++11 means for identifying the performance and the performance class of the microcontroller. For more information, see the detailed information on the benchmarks pages.

All Bare-Metal

Projects in this repo are programmed OS-less in bare-metal mode making use of self-written startup code. No external libraries other than native C++ and its own standard libraries are used.

Consider, for instance, the BeagleBone Black Edition (known as target am335x below) --- one of several target systems supported in this repository. The projects on this board boot from the binary image file MLO the SD card and subsequently perform their own static initialization and chip initialization of the ARM(R) 8 AM335x processor.

The following pdf image depicts the bare-metal BeagleBobe Black Edition (BBB) in action. The microcontroller on the board is cyclically performing one of the benchmarks mentioned above. The first user LED is toggled on port1.21 in multitasking operation and the oscilloscope captures a real-time measurement of the benchmark's time signal on digital I/O port1.15, header pin P8.15 of the BBB.

Continuous Integration (CI)

Continuous integration uses GitHub Actions programmed in YAML. The CI script exercises various target builds, example builds and benchmark builds/runs on Ubuntu or Windows-Latest using GNUmake, CMake or MSBuild depending on the particular OS/build/target configuration.

Build Status

Build Status

GNU GCC Compilers

GNU GCC cross compilers for the microcontroller solutions are not available here.

A GNU GCC port with a relatively high level of C++11 awareness such as GCC 5 (or, better yet, higher) is required for building the reference application.

Some of the code snippets demonstrate language elements not only from C++11, but also from C++14, 17, 20. A compiler with C++17 support (such as GCC 7) or even C++20 support (such as GCC 11) can, therefore, be beneficial for success with all of the code snippets.

In the reference application on *Win, the makefiles are aware of a default location for the respective GCC tool chains. This location has been defined by me and it might not be where you want it to be. Therefore, when using the reference application or designing a custom build, the root directory of the tool chain must be properly supplied to the makefiles.