As I understand it, FreeRTOS has its own dedicated heap, and the size of this heap (in bytes) is set by the configTOTAL_HEAP_SIZE constant. According to the online documentation here, this constant is only used if one of the sample memory allocation schemes are used. This seems to imply that perhaps the processor's general purpose heap could also be used.
How would I go about doing this? Are there any disadvantages to doing this?
P.S. - I'm using the PIC32 port.
This page is more helpful http://www.freertos.org/a00111.html You just have to use heap_3 instead of heap_2 or heap_1.
Also see the source code here http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1824&appnote=en544728 which is PIC32 using the normal heap.