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Problem found in vListInitialise ... FYI ONLY

Posted by Ricky on March 26, 2007
Port: STR912
Compiler: IAR, Embedded Workbench 4.0 Kickstart (ARM)
Optimize: Speed, maximum

I found a small problem in vListInitialise for the ARM9 port. This appears to be a compiler bug since the source code appears to be logically correct. This is just a FYI in case someone else is having the same problem as I am.

I created a library with the FreeRTOS ARM9 port that runs in Thumb mode. During debug, I was getting warning messages stating that an unaligned memory access was being performed and that the results were unpredictable. I traced the problem down to the vListInitialise function. The original function is shown below with a notation showing the line having the problem:

void vListInitialise( xList *pxList )
/* The list structure contains a list item which is used to mark the
end of the list. To initialise the list the list end is inserted
as the only list entry. */
pxList->pxIndex = ( xListItem * ) &( pxList->xListEnd );

/* The list end value is the highest possible value in the list to
ensure it remains at the end of the list. */
pxList->xListEnd.xItemValue = portMAX_DELAY;

/* The list end next and previous pointers point to itself so we know
when the list is empty. */
pxList->xListEnd.pxNext = ( xListItem * ) &( pxList->xListEnd ); <<< Problem line
pxList->xListEnd.pxPrevious = ( xListItem * ) &( pxList->xListEnd );

pxList->uxNumberOfItems = 0;

In the problem line above, the address of pxList->xListEnd wasn't being found properly. The previous line was setting register R1 to portMAX_DELAY, and the compiler was using that value in the next line as the pxList pointer, and then adding 8 to find pxList->xListEnd. portMAX_DELAY is 0xFFFFFFFF and adding 8 makes an address of 7, which was the value getting stored in pxList->xListEnd.pxNext.

I moved the "pxList->xListEnd.xItemValue = portMAX_DELAY;" line to just after the section that sets pxList->xListEnd.pxNext and pxList->xListEnd.pxPrevious and the compiler generated the correct code.

I'll be notifying IAR of this problem.

RE: Problem found in vListInitialise ... FYI ONLY

Posted by Richard on March 26, 2007
Thanks for your valuable feedback.

When you have maximum optimisation on I presume the "static clustering" option is selected. I have found static clustering to cause a problem with several IAR builds. It would be interesting to see if the problem goes away when this option is deselected, while retaining all the other optimisations.


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