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Keil Embedded C Tutorial

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Table of Content

Introduction to Keil C
Keywords
Memory Models
Pointers in Keil C
Generic Pointers
Memory-Specific Pointers
Functions in Keil C
Function Declaration
Writing First C program in Keil
Basic of a C program
Writing Hardware specific code
Writing C and Assembly together
Interfacing C program to Assembler
Segment naming
Advanced C programming
Function Parameters
Fucntion Return Values

Introduction to Keil C
The use of C language to program microcontrollers is becoming too common. And most of the time its not easy to buld an application in
assembly which instead you can make easily in C. So Its important that you know C language for microcontroller which is commonly known as
Embedded C. As we are going to use Keil C51 Compiler, hence we also call it Keil C.

Keywords
Keil C51 compiler adds few more keywords to the scope C Language:
_at_

far

sbit

alien

idata

sfr

bdata

interrupt

sfr16

bit

large

small

code

pdata

_task_

compact

_priority_

using

data

reentrant

xdata

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data/idata
Description: The variable will be stored in internal data memory of controller. example:
1.

unsignedchardatax

2.

//or

3.

unsignedcharidatay

bdata
Description: The variable will be stored in bit addressable memory of controller. example:
1.

unsignedcharbdatax

2.

//eachbitofthevariablexcanbeaccessedasfollows

3.

x^1=1//1stbitofvariablexisset

4.

x^0=0//0thbitofvariablexiscleared

xdata
Description: The variable will be stored in external RAM memory of controller. example:
1.

unsignedcharxdatax

code
Description: This keyword is used to store a constant variable in code memory. Lets say you have a big string which is not going to change
anywhere in program. Wasting ram for such string will be foolish thing. So instead we will make use of the keyword "code" as shown in
example below. example:
1.

unsignedcharcodestr="thisisaconstantstring"

pdata
Description: This keyword will store the variable in paged data memory. This keyword is used occasionally. example:
1.

unsignedcharpdatax

_at_
Description: This keyword is used to store a variable on a defined location in ram. example:
1.

unsignedcharidatax_at_0x30

2.

//variablexwillbestoredatlocation0x30

3.

//ininternaldatamemory

sbit
Description: This keyword is used to define a special bit from SFR (special function register) memory. example:
1.

sbitPort0_0=0x80

2.

//SpecialbitwithnamePort0_0isdefinedataddress0x80

sfr
Description: sfr is used to define an 8-bit special function register from sfr memory. example:
1.

sfrPort1=0x90

2.

//SpecialfunctionregisterwithnamePort1definedataddrress0x90

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sfr16
Description: This keyword is used to define a two sequential 8-bit registers in SFR memory. example:
1.

sfr16DPTR=0x82

2.

//16bitspecialfunctionregisterstartingat0x82

3.

//DPLat0x82,DPHat0x83

using
Description: This keyword is used to define register bank for a function. User can specify register bank 0 to 3. example:
1.

voidfunction()using2

2.

3.

4.

5.

//Funtionnamed"function"usesregisterbank2whileexecutingitscode

//code

interrupt
Description: This keyword will tells the compiler that function described is an interrupt service routine. C51 compiler supports interrupt
functions for 32 interrupts (0-31). Use the interrupt vector address in the following table to determine the interrupt number.

Vector Address Locations


example:
1.

voidExternal_Int0()interrupt0

2.

3.

4.

//code

Memory Models
There are three kind of memory models available for the user:
Small
All variables in internal data memory.
Compact
Variables in one page, maximum 256 variables (limited due to addressing scheme, memory accessed indirectly using r0 and r1 registers);
large
All variables in external ram. variables are accessed using DPTR.
Depending on our hardware configuration we can specify the momory models as shown below:

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1.

//ForSmallMemorymodel

2.

#pragmasmall

3.

//ForCompactmemorymodel

4.

#pragmacompact

5.

//Forlargememorymodel

6.

#pragmalarge

Pointers in Keil C
Pointers in keil C is are similar to that of standard C and can perform all the operations that are available in standard C. In addition, keil C
extends the operatability of pointers to match with the 8051 Controller architecture. Keil C provides two different types of pointers:
Generic Pointers
Memory-Specific Pointers

Generic Pointers
Generic Pointers are declared same as standard C Pointers as shown below:
1.

char*ptr

//CharacterPointer

2.

int*num

//IntegerPointer

Generic pointers are always stored using three bytes. The first byte is the memory type, the second byte is the high-order byte of the offset,
and the third byte is the low-order byte of the offset. Generic pointers maybe used to access any variable regardless of its location.

Memory-Specific Pointers
Memory specific pointers are defined along with memory type to which the pointer refers to, for example:
1.

chardata*c

2.

//PointertocharacterstoredinDatamemory

3.

4.

charxdata*c1

5.

//PointertocharacterstoredinExternalDataMemory.

6.

7.

charcode*c2

8.

//PointertocharacterstoredinCodememory

As Memory-Specific pointers are defined with a memory type at compile time, so memory type byte as required for generic pointers is not
needed. Memory-Specific pointers can be stored using 1 byte (for idata, data, bdata and pdata pointers) or 2 bytes (for code and xdata
pointers).
The Code generated by keil C compiler for memory-specific pointer executes mroe quickly than the equivalent code generated for a generic
pointer. This is because the memory area accessed by the pointer is known at the compile time rather at run-time. The compiler can use this
information to optimize memory access. So If execution speed is your priority then it is recommended to use memory-specific pointers.
Generic pointers and Memory-Specific pointers can be declared with memory area in which they are to be stored. For example:
1.

//GenericPointer

2.

char*idataptr

3.

//characterpointerstoredindatamemory

4.

int*xdataptr1

5.

//Integerpointerstoredinexternaldatamemory

6.

7.

//MemorySpecificpointer

8.

charidata*xdataptr2

9.

//PointertocharacterstoredinInternalDatamemory

10.

//andpointerisgoingtobestoredinExternaldatamemory

11.

intxdata*dataptr3

12.

//PointertocharacterstoredinExternalDatamemory

13.

//andpointerisgoingtobestoredindatamemory

Functions in Keil C
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Keil C compiler provides number of extensions for standarad C function declerations. These extensions allows you to:
Specify a function as an interrupt procedure
Choose the register bank used
Select memory model

Function Declaration
[Return_type]Fucntion_name([Arguments])[Memory_model][reentrant][interruptn][usingn]

Return_type
The type of value returned from the function. If return type of a function is not specified, int is assumed by default.
Function_name
Name of function
Arguments
Arguments passed to function

Optional Stuff
These are options that you can specify along with function declaration. Memory_model: explicit memory model (Large, Compact, Small) for
the function. Example:
1.

intadd_number(inta,intb)Large

reentrant
To indicate if the function is reentrant or recursive. This option is explained later in the tutorial.
interrupt
Indicates that function is an interrupt service routine. This option is explained later in the tutorial.
using
Specify register bank to be used during function execution. We have three register banks in 8051 architecture. These register banks are
specified using number 0 for Bank 0 to 3 for Bank 3 as shown in example
1.

voidfunction_name()using2

2.

3.

//functionusesBank2

4.

//functioncode

5.

Interrupt Service Routines


A function can be specified as an interrupt service routine using the keyword interrupt and interrupt number. The interrupt number indicates
the interrupt for which the function is declared as service routine.
Following table describes the default interrupts:

8051 Interrupt vector


As 8051 vendors create new parts, more interrupts are added. Keil C51 compiler supports interrupt functions for 32 interrupts (0-31). Use the
interrupt vector address in the following table to determine the interrupt number.

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Interrupt vector
The interrupt function can be declared as follows:
1.

voidisr_name(void)interrupt2

2.

3.

4.

//Interruptroutinecode

Please make sure that interrupt service routines should not have any arguments or return type except void.

Reentrant Functions
In ANSI C we have recursive function, to meet the same requirement in embedded C, we have reentrant function. These functions can be
called recursively and can be called simultaneously by two or more processes. Now you might be thinking, why special definition for recursive
functions?
Well you must know how these functions work when they are called recursively. when a function is running there is some runtime data
associated with it, like local variables associated with it etc. when the same function called recursively or two process calls same function, CPU
has to maintain the state of function along with its local variables. Reentrant functions can be defined as follows:
1.

voidfunction_name(intargument)reentrant

2.

3.

4.

//functioncode

Each reentrant function has reentrant stack associated with it, which is defined by startup.A51 file. Reentrant stack area is simulated internal
or external memory depending upon the memory model used:
Small model reentrant functions simulate reentrant stack in idata memory.
Compant model reentrant functions simulate reentrant stack in pdata memory.
Large model reentrant functions simulate reentrant stack in xdata memory.

Real-time Function Tasks


Keil or C51 provides support for real-time operating system (RTOS) RTX51 Full and RTX51 Tiny. Real-time function task are declared using
_task_ and _priority_ keywords. The _task_ defines a function as real-time task. The _priority_ keyword specify the priority of task.
Fucntions are declared as follows:
1.

voidfunc(void)_task_Number_priority_Priority

2.

3.

4.

//code

where:
Number
is task ID from 0 to 255 for RTX51 Full and 0 to 15 for RTX51 Tiny.
Priority

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is priority of task.
Real-time task functions must be declared with void return type and void argument list (say no arguments passed to task function).

Writing First C program in Keil


Basic of a C program
As we already discussed, Keil C is not much different from a normal C program. If you know assembly, writing a C program is not a problem,
only thing you have to keep in mind is forget your controller has general purpose registers, accumulators or whatever. But do not forget
about Ports and other on chip peripherals and related registers to them.
In basic C, all programs have atleast one function which is entry point for your application that function is named as \"main\" function.
Similarly in keil, we will have a main function, in which all your application specific work will be defined. Lets move further deep into the
working of applications and programs.
When you run your C programs in your PC or computer, you run them as a child program or process to your Operating System so when you
exit your programs (exits main function of program) you come back to operating system. Whereas in case of embedded C, you do not have
any operating system running in there. So you have to make sure that your program or main file should never exit. This can be done with the
help of simple while(1) or for(;;) loop as they are going to run infinitely. Following layout provides a skeleton of Basic C program.
1.

voidmain()

2.

3.

//Youronetimeinitializationcodewillcomehere

4.

while(1){

5.

//while1loop

6.

//Thisloopwillhaveallyourapplicationcode

7.

//whichwillruninfinitely

8.

9.

When we are working on controller specific code, then we need to add header file for that controller. I am considering you have already gone
through "Keil Microvision" tutorial. After project is created, add the C file to project. Now first thing you have to do is adding the header file.
All you have to do is right click in editor window, it will show you correct header file for your project.
Figure below shows the windows context for adding header file to your c file.

Include Header file in Keil

Writing Hardware specific code


In harware specific code, we use hardware peripherals like ports, timers and uart etc. Do not forget to add header file for controller you are
using, otherwise you will not be able to access registers related to peripherals. Lets write a simple code to Blink LED on Port1, Pin1.

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1.

#include<REGx51.h>

2.

//headerfilefor89C51

3.

voidmain()

4.

5.

//mainfunctionstarts

6.

unsignedinti

7.

8.

//InitializingPort1pin1

9.

P1_1=0//MakePin1o/p

10.

11.

while(1){

12.

//Infiniteloopmainapplication

13.

//comeshere

14.

for(i=0i<1000i++)

15.

16.

17.

P1_1=~P1_1

18.

//complementPort1.1

19.

//thiswillblinkLEDconnectedonPort1.1

20.

21.

//delayloop

You can now try out more programs. "Practice makes a man perfect".

Writing C and Assembly together


Interfacing C program to Assembler
You can easily interface your programs to routines written in 8051 Assembler. All you need to do is follow few programming rules, you can
call assembly routines from C and vice-versa. Public variables declared in assembly modules are available to your C program.
There maybe several reasons to call an assembly routine like faster execution of program, accessing SFRs directly using assembly etc. In this
part of tutorial we will discuss how to write assembly progarms that can be directly interfaced with C programs.
For any assembly routine to be called from C program, you must know how to pass parameters or arguements to fucntion and get return
values from a function.

Segment naming
C51 compiler generates objects for every program like program code, program data and constant data. These objects are stored in segments
which are units of code or data memory. Segment naming is standard for C51 compiler, so every assembly program need to follow this
convention.
Segment names include module_name which is the name of the source file in which the object is declared. Each segment has a prefix that
corresponds to memory type used for the segment. Prefix is enclosed in question marks (?). The following is the list of the standard segment
name prefixes:

C51 module prefix

Data Objects

Data objects are the variables and constants you declare in your C programs. The C51 compiler generates a saperate segment for each
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Data objects are the variables and constants you declare in your C programs. The C51 compiler generates a saperate segment for each
memory type for which variable is declared. The following table lists the segment names generated for different variable data objects. Data
objects segment prefix

Data Segment Prefix

Program Objects
Program onjects includes code generated for C programs functions by C51 compiler. Each function in a source module is assigned a separate
code segment using the ?PR?function_name?module_name naming convention. For example, for a function name send_char in file name
uart.c will have a segment name of ?PR?SEND_CHAR?UART.
C51 compiler creates saperate segments for local variables that are declared within the body of a function. Segment naming conventions for
different memory models are given in following tables:

Small model segment naming convention

Compact model segment naming convention

Large model segment naming convention


Function names are modified slightly depending on type of function (functions without arguments, functions with arguments and reentrant
functions). Following tables explains the segment names:

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function segment naming convention

Advanced C programming
Function Parameters
C51 make use of registers and memory locations for passing parameters. By default C function pass up to three parameters in registers and
further parameters are passed in fixed memory locations. You can disable parameter passing in register using NOREGPARMS keyword.
Parameters are passed in fixed memory location if parameter passing in register is disabled or if there are too many parameters to fit in
registers.

Parameter passing in registers


C functions may pass parameter in registers and fixed memory locations. Following table gives an idea how registers are user for parameter
passing.

parameter passing to functions


Following example explains a little more clearly the parameter passing technique:

example parameter passing to functions

Parameter passing in Fixed Memory Locations


Parameters passed to assembly routines in fixed memory lcoation use segments named
?function_name?BYTE
All except bit parameters are defined in this segment.
?function_name?BIT
Bit parameters are defined in this segment.
All parameters are assigned in this space even if they are passed using registers. Parameters are stored in the order in which they are
declared in each respective segment.
The fixed memory locations used for parameters passing may be in internal data memory or external data memory depending upon the
memory model used. The SMALL memory model is the most efficient and uses internal data memory for parameter segment. The COMPACT
and LARGE models use external data memory for the parameter passing segments.

Fucntion Return Values


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Function return values are always passed using CPU registers. The following table lists the possible return types and the registers used for
each.

function return values

Example
Following example shows how these segment and function decleration is done in assembler.

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1.

2.

andcalledfromanyCprogram

Assemblyprogramexamplewhichiscompatible

3.

letssayasm_test.asmisfilename

4.

nameasm_test

5.

6.

Wearegoingtowriteafunction

7.

addwhichcanbeusedincprogramsas

8.

unsignedlongadd(unsignedlong,unsignedlong)

9.

aswearepassingargumentstofunction

10.

sofunctionnameisprefixedwith'_'(underscore)

11.

12.

codesegmentforfunction"add"

13.

?PR?_add?asm_testsegmentcode

14.

datasegmentforfunction"add"

15.

?DT?_add?asm_testsegmentdata

16.

17.

letotherfunctionusethisdataspaceforpassingvariables

18.

public?_add?BYTE

19.

makefunctionpublicoraccessibletoeveryone

20.

public_add

21.

22.

definethedatasegmentforfunctionadd

23.

rseg?DT?_add?asm_test

24.

?_add?BYTE:

25.

parm1: DS4

FirstParameter

26.

parm2: ds4

SecondParameter

27.

28.

eitheryoucanuseparm1forreadingpassedvalueasshownbelow

29.

ordirectlyuseregistersusedtopassthevalue.

30.

rseg?PR?_add?asm_test

31.

_add:

32.

readingfirstargument

33.

movparm1+3,r7

34.

movparm1+2,r6

35.

movparm1+1,r5

36.

movparm1,r4

37.

param2isstoredinfixedlocationgivenbyparam2

38.

39.

nowaddingtwovariables

40.

mova,parm2+3

41.

adda,parm1+3

42.

afteradditionofLSB,moveittor7(LSBreturnregisterforLong)

43.

movr7,a

44.

mova,parm2+2

45.

addca,parm1+2

46.

storesecondLSB

47.

movr6,a

48.

mova,parm2+1

49.

addca,parm1+1

50.

storesecondMSB

51.

movr5,a

52.

mova,parm2

53.

addca,parm1

54.

storeMSBofresultandreturn

55.

56.

keilwillautomaticallystoreitto

57.

varablereadingtheresturnvalue

58.

movr4,a

59.

ret

60.

61.

end

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Now calling this above function from a C program is very simple. We make function call as normal function as shown below:
1.

externunsignedlongadd(unsignedlong,unsignedlong)

2.

3.

voidmain()

4.

5.

unsignedlonga

6.

a=add(10,30)

7.

//awillhave40afterexecution

8.

while(1)

9.

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