Saturday 2 August 2014

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C for Real-Time Developers

Length: 5 days

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This course is delivered in co-operation with Doulos' training partner Feabhas, who specialise in training courses for real-time embedded developers.

Course Description

Learning the C programming language is one thing, but learning to use it effectively and appropriately in a real-time embedded environment is another. For many programmers, these skills are learnt the hard way, through trial and error on the job. This course addresses this issue by not only teaching the C programming language, but through emphasizing the pragmatic use of C in a real-time environment. This is achieved through both lecture and direct hands-on experience.
As part of the course, approximately 50% of the time is given over to writing code for a real target. During the week, attendees build up a complete solution to a case study that exercises all significant parts of the course.


An intensive five day course covering C in the context of real-time embedded application development.

Course Objectives

• To provide an understanding of the essentials of the C programming language.
• To give you practical experience of writing C for real-time & embedded systems.
• To demonstrate the traps and pitfalls of the language when used in a real-time system.
• To give you the confidence to apply these new concepts to your next real-time project.

Delegates will learn

• The core C syntax and semantics
• How to access hardware & program interrupts in the language
• About memory and performance issues associated with C
• How Real-time Operating Systems affect the use of the language


• Experience of programming, e.g. assembly language
• Prior knowledge of C is useful but not essential

Who Should Attend:

The course is designed for engineers who are embarking on a project using C for the first time. It is also suitable for those having to support a customer using C, and those requiring to be brought up to date since initially being taught at University.

Course Materials

• Delegate Handbook

Related Courses

• Fundamentals of Real-Time Operating Systems
• Advanced C Programming
• Real-Time Software Design with UML 2.0

Course Workshop

The course makes use of target hardware during the embedded programming practical exercises. The target board is an ARM7-based microcontroller (NXP LPC2129) connected to an application board. Programming the target microcontroller to control the application board gives attendees a real-sense of embedded application development.

Course Outline

Introduction to Real-Time Systems
- Characteristics and demands of real-time software development
Introduction to C Programming
- Structure of a C program
- The C compilation process
Types and Operators
- C base types
- Precedence & associativity
- Arithmetic operations
Control Flow
- Logical expressions and operations
- Decision Making
- Loops
- Pointer basics
Bit Manipulation & Hardware Access
- Accessing hardware with pointers
- Manipulating information at the bit level
- General Purpose IO (GPIO)
- The Function as a logical program unit
- How parameters are passed
- Memory segments
Arrays, Pointers and Strings
- Arrays as circular buffers
- Relationship between pointers & arrays
- Pointer arithmetic
- C string handling
Device Interaction & Synchronization
- Polling devices
- Serial peripheral programming
Structures and Unions
- Structures;
- Big & Little Endian
- Unions
- Using structures to access I/O devices
- Bit-field structures
- Internal & External interrupt control
- Nested Interrupts
- Priorities & Masks
- Software Interrupts
Dynamic Memory Management
- Malloc and free
- Linked list
- Issues (leaks, fragmentation, etc.)
Program Structure
- Definitions and declarations;
- Header files
- Scope and lifetime
The C Pre-Processor
- Macros
- Conditional Compilation
Program Design Concepts
- Why modular design?
- Coupling and cohesion
- Testing the program
- Scheduling strategies
- Context switching
- Function pointers
- Task synchronisation and communication
- MMU and memory protection
- Concurrency and libraries
The Standard C Library
Target Specific Considerations

- Language features affecting portability
- Non-standard C language features
- Assembly language interfacing
- What happens at power-on?
- Initialising the C runtime
Course Summary

This course is available now for team-based training at or near to your location. To find out more:

Complete an on-line form and a Doulos representative will get back to you »
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