Using memory analysis to create leaner, faster, more reliable embedded systems — August 10, 2007

The software in embedded systems is becoming very complex, making it harder than ever to pinpoint and stamp out memory errors. Memory analysis tools fill the gap, by allowing you to visually pinpoint memory errors that conventional source debuggers can’t detect. Moreover, they can help optimize long-term memory usage, thereby reducing RAM requirements and ensuring that the system doesn’t run out of memory days, weeks, or months after deployment. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t wait for a memory error to manifest itself before using a memory analysis tool. Even if your system appears to perform acceptably, a memory analysis tool can uncover hidden inefficiencies that, when corrected, allow for substantial improvements in performance and memory usage. In fact, it’s worthwhile to employ memory analysis tools, system profilers, and other system tracing tools throughout the entire development process. Not only will you identify problems early (when the problems are much easier to correct), but you’ll also ensure that your system delivers all the features and performance that it is truly capable of supporting.

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