Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Sridhar, Nigamanth

Subject Headings

Embedded computer systems, Threads (Computer programs), Compilers (Computer programs), Stackless, multithreading, embedded systems, firmware, compilers, C

Abstract

As embedded systems embrace ever more complicated microcontrollers, they present both new capability and new complexity. To simplify their development, some lessons of computer application development will translate with additional work. This thesis offers one such translation. It shows how whole-program compilers - those that broadly analyze a program's entire source code - can achieve performance gains and remove faults in embedded system applications. In so doing, this yields a novel stackless threading system named UnStacked C. UnStacked C enables cooperative multithreading without the risk of stack overflows in embedded system applications. We also propose a novel preemption system called Lazy Preemption. Unstacked C with Lazy Preemption enables stackless preemptive multithreading in embedded systems. These remove the possibility of thread stack overflows, but also significantly reduces the memory required for multithreading in embedded systems

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