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xTaskCreate and memory storing pvParameters

Posted by mike on February 14, 2008
Is there a mechanism for a new task to copy data pointed to by *pvParameters to be saved by the new task before the calling task (the one that calls xTaskCreate) erases the memory?
So a structure is created on a local stack,
xTaskCreate called, and returns
When can the function release the stack memory - when has the new task taken its copy of the data?
Do I need an interlock, a flag in the structure that is cleared by the new task when it has its copy, or another signalling method?

Any suggestions or help gratefully received


Mike Newsome

RE: xTaskCreate and memory storing pvParameters

Posted by Dave on February 14, 2008
If I get your question right, you have task A that creates task B, and task B wants some to copy some stack (that is not static) data from task A but does not know if the data is still valid or not as task A may have gone away and done something else. pvParameters being used to point to the data.

You can achieve this by having task A create task B at a priority higher than task A. This way you are guaranteed that task B will run before task A even exits the xTaskCreate() function. Once task B has got the data it requires it can set its own priority to its real wanted value.

RE: xTaskCreate and memory storing pvParameters

Posted by Jon Newcomb on February 14, 2008
I had a situation where trimming task priorities resulted in a NULL pointer reference, which scared me slightly.
Also the code to start the new task was a function call used by lots of tasks of differing priorities.

The way I got round this was to use pvPortMalloc() and let the newly generated task free the memory using vPortFree().

Its a one shot timer. It fires off a new tasks that waits for the specified period of time, posts a message to a queue and then destroys itself.

I allocate memory for a 'param_*' struct and stuff it with local variables from calling task
A new task is started and receives a pointer to the struct. The struct is cast to access data. Once used it can be freed.

It did strike me as a safe way, but rather long winded.
Has anyone else solved this problem in a less round about way?

typedef struct prt_param_oneshottimer_t
portTickType timerperiod;
uint32_t event;
uint32_t data;

TaskStart_OneShotTimer (portTickType timerperiod, uint32_t event, uint32_t data)
int retval = PASS;
param_oneshottimer_t *param_oneshottimer;
// Allocate storage for the timer variables. Pointer to this is
// passed to the task and used by the task created
param_oneshottimer = ( param_oneshottimer_t * )
pvPortMalloc( sizeof( param_oneshottimer_t ) );
// Assign passed arguments to the task
param_oneshottimer->timerperiod = timerperiod;
param_oneshottimer->event = event;
param_oneshottimer->data = data;
// Pass arguments to the task that starts the timer
if (xTaskCreate
(Task_OneShotTimer, "OneShotTimer", TASKSTACK_TIMER,
(void *)param_oneshottimer, (tskIDLE_PRIORITY + 3),
(xTaskHandle *) NULL) != PASS)
retval = FAIL;
return (retval);

portTASK_FUNCTION (Task_OneShotTimer, pvParameters)
// Cast data passed to task
param_oneshottimer_t *prt_param_oneshottimer;
prt_param_oneshottimer = (param_oneshottimer_t *) pvParameters;
// Wait for the specified period of time
// We have waited the required amount of time. Post the required
// message to the queue
prt_param_oneshottimer->data, "oneshottimer");
// Deallocate memory used
vPortFree( (void *)prt_param_oneshottimer );
// Now delete the task
vTaskDelete (NULL);

RE: xTaskCreate and memory storing pvParameters

Posted by mike on February 14, 2008
Hi Dave
You have the question right! Thanks for an answer.

I quite like the look of Jons solution, although as he says it is a bit long winded.


Mike Newsome

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