The main difference between C and Embedded C is that C develops general purpose applications while Embedded C develops embedded systems.
C is a high level, a general-purpose programming language that is suitable for developing various applications including operating systems, hardware drivers, databases, etc. Embedded C, however, is an extension of C. The use of it is, specifically, in embedded systems development.
Key Areas Covered
C, Embedded C
What is C
Moreover, C is a compiler-based programming language. Therefore, it executes faster. The C compiler transforms the entire source code into the equivalent machine code at once. The CPU understands this machine code and can perform the task defined in the source code. Moreover, when writing programs in C, the programmer has to allocate memory on his own. There are functions such as Thus, malloc, etc. to allocate memory dynamically. He can use these functions and pointers to perform dynamic memory allocation.
What is Embedded C
An embedded system is a system that is capable of performing one or more functionalities. And, this kind of system consists of electrical and mechanical components. Each embedded system has a microcontroller to manage and control the functionalities. Embedded C is an extension of C language that helps to develop embedded systems. In other words, it helps to program microcontroller based systems.
In 2008, the C standards Committee extended the C language in order to use it to implement embedded systems. Embedded C includes multiple new features. Some of them are fixed point arithmetic, named address spaces and basic I/O hardware addressing. Embedded C also has most programming features similar to the usual C language. Some of these include main function, variable definition, data type declarations, conditions (if, else), loops, functions, arrays, structures, strings, units, bit operations, macros, etc.
Difference Between C and Embedded C
C is a general-purpose programming language that allows structured programming. Embedded C, however, is a set of language extension for the C programming language designed to address commonality issues that exist between C extensions for different embedded systems. Thus, this is the main difference between C and Embedded C.
Dennis M. Ritchie developed C language whereas the C Standards Committee developed Embedded C.
Hardware dependency is another difference between C and Embedded C. C is hardware independent. Therefore, it is not necessary for the programmer to know hardware to write C programs. However, Embedded C is hardware dependent. Thus, the programmer should have a good understanding of hardware to write Embedded C programs.
Compilation and Execution
Moreover, in C language, the standard compiler helps to compile and execute the program. Embedded C requires specific compilers that are capable of generating microcontroller based outputs. Hence, this is another difference between C and Embedded C.
GNU Compiler collection, Borland turbo C are some examples for C compilers that can compile and execute C programs. Keil compiler, BiPOM Electronics – Embedded training and development are some software that helps to compile and execute Embedded C programs.
Furthermore, functionality is a major difference between C and Embedded C. C compiler generates operating system dependent executable files. Embedded C compilers generate hardware-dependent files. They can be uploaded into the microcontroller to perform the task.
Also, the difference between C and Embedded C is in the applications too. Network drivers, interpreters, compilers, operating systems, and, text editors are some example for C applications. However, Embedded C helps to develop embedded systems such as robots, vehicle tracking systems, smart monitoring systems, etc.
The main difference between C and Embedded C is that C develops general purpose applications while Embedded C develops embedded systems. In brief, Embedded C is an extension of C that allows programming microcontroller based systems.
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