keil c full report
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Embedded system encompasses a variety of hardware and software components, which perform specific functions in host systems. Embedded systems have become increasingly digital with a non-digital periphery and therefore, both hardware and software co-design is relevant. Majority of computers are used in such systems to distinguish them from standard main frames, workstations and pcâ„¢s. Advances in microelectronics have made possible applications that would have been impossible without an embedded system design.
Embedded system applications have virtually entered every sphere of our lives embedded systems cover a broad of products that generalization is difficult.
An embedded system is a microprocessor- based system that is incorporated into a device to monitor and control the functions of the components of the device. They are used in many devices. Developments in microelectronics, processor speeds and memory elements have resulted in power embedded systems with a number of applications.
This paper seeks differences between embedded computer design and desktop design, which also presents design challenges.
An embedded system is a type of computer system or computing device, which performs a dedicated function and/or is designed for use with a specific embedded software application.
Embedded systems have the following components.
A processor fetches instructions from the memory unit and executes the instructions. An instruction consists of an instruction code and the operands on which the instruction should act upon. The format of instruction code and operands of a processor is defined by the processorâ„¢s instruction set. Each type of processor has its own instruction set. Performance of the system can be improved by dedicated processors, which implement algorithms in hardware using building blocks such as hardware counters and multipliers.
Some embedded processors have special fuzzy logic instructions. This is because inputs to an embedded system are sometimes better represented as fuzzy variables. For instance, the mathematical model for a control system may not exist or may involve expensive computing power. Fuzzy logic can be employed for such control systems to provide a cost-effective solution.
The memory unit in an embedded system should have low access time and high density. (A memory chip- has greater density if it can store more bits in the same amount of space. Memory in an embedded system consists of ROM and RAM .The contents of ROM are non-volatile while RAM is volatile. ROM stores the program code while RAM is used to store transient input or output data. Embedded systems generally do not possess secondary storage devices such as magnetic disks. As programs of embedded systems are small there is no need of virtual storage.
Peripherals are input and output devices connected to the serial and parallel ports of the embedded system. Serial port transfers one bit at a time between the peripheral and themicroprocessor. Parallel ports transfer an entire word consisting of many bits simultaneously between the peripheral and the microprocessor.
Programmable interface devices that act as an interface between microprocessor with peripherals provide flexibility since they can be programmed to perform I/O on different peripherals. The microprocessor monitors the inputs from peripherals and performs actions when certain events occur. For instance, when sensors indicate the level of water in the washtub of a washing machine is above the present level, the microprocessor starts the wash cycle.
Introduction to the Keil 8051 ËœCâ„¢ Compiler
We will use the Keil ËœCâ„¢ cross compiler to develop our 8051 programs.
The Keil ËœCâ„¢ Compiler Directory Structure is as follows
\BIN : This contains the compiler .exe files
\INC : This contains the header files
\LIB : This contains the object libraries
\WORKING : All user programs reside here
\A51 : Assembler directory used by comp

Program Development Sequence
Before we can start writing our ËœCâ„¢ programs we must create the right
Programming environment. To do this, execute the following sequence.
1. Enter Windows:
2. Select and open the Main program group icon from the program manager.
3. Select and open the MSDOS icon from the main program group.
4. Press Alt+Enter to reduce the DOS Window to a DOS box with Windows
5. Select the DOS box using the mouse or by pressing ALT+TAB to sequence through the currently opened windows until the DOS box is selected as active
6. Change directory from C:\windows to C:\c51v4\bin.
7. Type START at the Command prompt C:\C51v4\bin:> START Press enter.
8. Change directory from C:\c51v4\bin to C:\c51v4\working
9. We are now ready to write our first program.

Creating ËœCâ„¢ Source Files
From within the directory C:\C51V4\WORKING you develop your ËœCâ„¢ programs. You can create your programs using any ASCII text editor e.g. MSDOS ËœEDITâ„¢ or the Borland Editor within Borland ËœCâ„¢.
Windows Notepad may be used to create the source file, however, this source file will still be required to be compiled in the DOS box at the DOS command prompt.
How to Compile Your ËœCâ„¢ Source File
1. Type COMP51 at the DOS prompt followed by the name of your file. NOTE DO NOT include the filename extension .C . If you do the whole of your source file will be corrupted.
2. C:\c51v4\working:> COMP51 test Press Enter.
3. This will call the compiler, assembler, linker and hex converter programs automatically. Several files including .Hex will be created in the C:\c51v4\working directory.
4. If you have any errors reported, you will find what they are by examining the .lst file of your source file name, i.e. test.lst.
5. When you have understood the errors, modify the ËœCâ„¢ source file and recompile as part 2.
6. Once you have complete the compilation process you are ready the proceed with download your .hex to the Flight32 board.
Keil c
The C programming language was designed for computers, though, and not embedded systems. It does not support direct access to registers, nor does it allow for the reading and setting of single bits, two very important requirements for 8051 software. In addition, most software developers are acustomed to writing programs that will by executed by an operating system, which provides system calls the program may use to access the hardware. However, much code for the 8051 is written for direct use on the processor, without an operating system. To support this, the Keil compiler has added several extensions to the C language to replace what might have normally been implemented in a system call, such as the connecting of interrupt handlers.
The purpose of this manual is to further explain the limitations of the Keil compiler, the modifications it has made to the C language, and how to account for these in developing software for the 8051 microcontroller.
Mathematical operations:
The most basic concept about mathematical operations in programming languages, is the '=' operator which is used to store the content of the expression at its right, into the variable at its left. For example the following code will store the value of 'b' into 'a' :
a = b;
And subsequently, the following expression in totally invalid:
5 = b;
Since 5 in a constant, trying to store the content of 'b' in it will cause an error.
You can then perform all kind of mathematical operations, using the operators '+','-','*' and '/'. You can also use brackets '( )' when needed. Example:
a =(5*b)+((a/b)*(a+b));
If you include 'math.h' header file, you will be able to use more advanced functions in your equations like Sin, Cos and Tan trigonometric functions, absolute values and logarithmic calculations like in the following example:
a =(c*cos(b))+sin(b);
To be able to successfully use those functions in your programs, you have to know the type of variables that those functions take as parameter and return as a result. For example a Cosine function takes an angle in radians whose value is a float number between -65535 and 65535 and it will return a float value as a result. You can usually know those data types from the 'math.h' file itself, for example, the cosine function, like all the others is declared in the top of the math header file, and you can read the line:
extern float cos (float val);
from this line you can deduce that the 'cos' function returns a float data type, and takes as a parameter a float too. (the parameter is always between brackets.). Using the same technique, you can easily know how to deal with the rest of the functions of the math header file. the following table shows a short description of those functions:
Function Description
char cabs (char val); Return an the absolute value of a char variable.
int abs (int val); Return an the absolute value of a int variable.
long labs (long val); Return an the absolute value of a long variable.
float fabs (float val); Return an the absolute value of a float variable.
float sqrt (float val); Returns the square root of a float variable.
float exp (float val); Returns the value of the Euler number 'e' to the power of val
float log (float val); Returns the natural logarithm of val
float log10 (float val); Returns the common logarithm of val
float sin (float val); A set of standard trigonometric functions. They all take angles measured in radians whose value have to be between -65535 and 65535.
float cos (float val);
float tan (float val);
float asin (float val);
float acos (float val);
float atan (float val);
float sinh (float val);
float cosh (float val);
float tanh (float val);
float atan2 (float y, float x); This function calculates the arc tan of the ratio y / x, using the signs of both x and y to determine the quadrant of the angle and return a number ranging from -pi to pi.
float ceil (float val); Calculates the smallest integer that is bigger than val. Example: ceil(4.3) = 5.
float floor (float val); Calculates the largest integer that is smaller than val. Example: ceil(4.8) = 4.
float fmod (float x, float y); Returns the remainder of x / y. For example: fmod(15.0,4.0) = 3.
float pow (float x, float y); Returns x to the power y.
Logical operations:
You can also perform logic operations with variables, like AND, OR and NOT operations, using the following operators:
Operator Description
! NOT (bit level) Example: P1_0 = !P1_0;
~ NOT (byte level) Example: P1 = ~P1;
| OR
Note that those logic operation are performed on the bit level of the registers. To understand the effect of such operation on registers, it's easier to look at the bits of a variable (which is composed of one or more register). For example, a NOT operation will invert all the bit of a register. Those logic operators can be used in many ways to merge different bits of different registers together.
For example, consider the variable 'P1', which is of type 'char', and hence stored in an 8-bit register. Actually P1 is an SFR, whose 8 bits represents the 8 I/O pins of Port 1. It is required in that example to clear the 4 lower bits of that register without changing the state of the 4 other which may be used by other equipment. This can be done using logical operators according to the following code:
P1 = P1 & 0xF0; (Adding '0x' before a number indicates that it is a hexadecimal one)
Here, the value of P1 is ANDed with the variable 0xF0, which in the binary base is '11110000'. Recalling the two following relations:
1 AND X = X
0 AND X = 0
(where 'X' can be any binary value)
You can deduce that the 4 higher bits of P1 will remain unchanged, while the 4 lower bits will be cleared to 0.
By the way, note that you could also perform the same operation using a decimal variable instead of a hexadecimal one, for example, the following code will have exactly the same effect than the previous one (because 240 = F0 in HEX):
P1 = P1 & 240;
A similar types of operations that can be performed on a port, is to to set some of its bits to 1 without affecting the others. For example, to set the first and last bit of P1, without affecting the other, the following source code can be used:
P1 = P1 | 0x81;
Here, P1 is ORed with the value 0x81, which is '10000001' in binary. Recalling the two following relations:
1 OR X = 1
0 OR X = X
(where 'X' can be any binary value)
You can deduce that the first and last pins of P1 will be turned on, without affecting the state of the other pins of port 1. Those are just a few example of the manipulations that can be done to registers using logical operators. Logic operators can also be used to define very specific conditions, as you shall see in the next section.
The last types of logic operation studied in this tutorial is the shifting. It can be useful the shift the bit of a register the right or to the left in various situations. this can be done using the following two operators:
Operator Description
>> Shift to the right
<< Shift to the left
The syntax is is quite intuitive, for example:
P1 = 0x01; // After that operation, in binary, P1 = 0000 0001
P1 = (P1 << 8) // After that operation, in binary P1 = 1000 0000
Data Types
The Cx51 Compiler provides several basic data types you may use in your C programs. The compiler supports the standard C data types as well as several data types that are unique to the Cx51 platform.
Data Types Bits Bytes Value Range
1 0 to 1
signed char
8 1 -128 ” +127
unsigned char
8 1 0 ” 255
8 / 16 1 or 2 -128 ” +127 or -32768 ” +32767
signed short int
16 2 -32768 ” +32767
unsigned short int
16 2 0 ” 65535
signed int
16 2 -32768 ” +32767
unsigned int
16 2 0 ” 65535
signed long int
32 4 -2147483648 ” +2147483647
unsigned long int
32 4 0 ” 4294967295
32 4 ±1.175494E-38 ” ±3.402823E+38
32 4 ±1.175494E-38 ” ±3.402823E+38
1 0 or 1
8 1 0 ” 255
16 2 0 ” 65535
The bit, sbit, sfr, and sfr16 data types are not provided in ANSI C. They are unique to the Cx51 Compiler.
Keil Limitations
There are several very important limitations in the evaluation version of Keil's Developer's Kit that users need be aware of when writing software for the 8051.
Object code must be less than 2 Kbytes
The compiler will compile any-sized source code file, but the final object code may not exceed 2 Kbytes. If it does, the linker will refuse to create a final binary executable (or HEX file) from it. Along the same lines, the debugger will refuse any files that are over 2Kbytes, even if they were compiled using a different software package.
Few student project and implimentations will cross this 2Kbyte threshold, but programmers should be aware of it to understand why code may no longer compile when the project and implimentation grows too large.
Program code starts at address 0x4000
All C code compiled and linked using the Keil tools will begin at address 0x4000 in code memory. Such code may not be programmed into devices with less than 16Kbytes of Read-Only Memory. Code written in assembly may circumvent this limitation by using the "origin" keyword to set the start to address 0x0000. No such work-around exists for C programs, though. However, the integrated debugger in the evaluation software may still be used for testing code. Once tested, the code may be compiled by the full version of the Keil software, or by another compiler that supports the C extensions used by Keil.
C Modifications
The Keil C compiler has made some modifications to anotherwise ANSI-compliant implementation of the C programming language. These modifications were made solely to facilitate the use of a higher-level language like C for writing programs on microcontrollers.
Variable Types
The Keil C compiler supports most C variable types and adds several of its own.
Standard Types
The evaluation version of the Keil C compiler supports the standard ANSI C variable types, with the exception of the floating point types. These types are summarized below.
Type Bits Bytes Range
char 8 1 -128 to +127
unsigned char 8 1 0 to 255
enum 16 2 -32,768 to +32,767
short 16 2 -32,768 to +32,767
unsigned short 16 2 0 to 65,535
int 16 2 -32,768 to +32,767
unsigned int 16 2 0 to 65,535
long 32 4 -2,147,483,648 to +2,147,483,647
unsigned long 32 4 0 to 4,294,697,295

In addition to these variable types, the compiler also supports the struct and union data structures, as well as type redefinition using typedef.
Keil Types
To support a microcontroller and embedded systems applications, Keil added several new types to their compiler. These are summarized in the table below.
Type Bits Bytes Range
bit 1 0 0 to 1
sbit 1 0 0 to 1
sfr 8 1 0 to 255
sf16 16 2 0 to 65,535
Of these, only the bit type works as a standard variable would. The other three have special behavior that a programmer must be aware of.
This is a data type that gets allocated out of the 8051's bit-addressable on-chip RAM. Like other data types, it may be declared as either a variable. However, unlike standard C types, if may not be used as a pointer. An example of its usage follows. /* declare two bit variables - the compiler will decide which */
/* declare two bit variables - the compiler will decide which */
/* addresses they are at. Initialize them to 0 and 1. */
bit testbit1 = 0;
bit testbit2 = 1;
/* set testbit1 to the value in testbit2 */
testbit1 = testbit2;
/* clear testbit2 */
testbit2 = 0;
/* testbit1 is now a 1, and testbit2 is now a 0 */
/* Note that the assignment of testbit2 to testbit1 only copied */
/* the contents of testbit2 into testbit1. It did *not* change */
/* the location of testbit1 to be the same as testbit2. */
sbit, sfr, and sf16
These are special types for accessing 1-bit, 8-bit, and 16-bit special function registers. Because there is no way to indirectly address registers in the 8051, addresses for these variables must be declared outsite of functions within the code. Only the data addressed by the variable may be manipulated in the code. An example follows.
/* create an sbit variable that points to pin 0 of port 1 */
/* note that this is done outside of any functions! */
sbit P10 = 0x90;
/* now the functions may be written to use this location */
void main (void)
/* forever loop, toggling pin 0 of port 1 */
while (1==1)
P10 = !P10;
delay (500); /* wait 500 microseconds */
Conveniently, the standard special function registers are all defined in the reg51.h file that any developer may include into their source file. Only registers unique to the particular 8051-derivative being used for the project and implimentation need have these variable declared, such as registers and bits related to a second on-chip serial port.
Keil Variable Extensions
In writing applications for a typical computer, the operating system handles manages memory on behalf of the programs, eliminating their need to know about the memory structure of the hardware. Even more important, most computers having a unified memory space, with the code and data sharing the same RAM. This is not true with the 8051, which has separate memory spaces for code, on-chip data, and external data.
To accommodate for this when writing C code, Keil added extensions to variable declarations to specify which memory space the variable is allocated from, or points to. The most important of these for student programmers are summarized in the following table.
Extension Memory Type Related ASM
data Directly-addressable data memory (data memory addresses 0x00-0x7F) MOV A, 07Fh
idata Indirectly-addressable data memory (data memory addresses 0x00-0xFF) MOV R0, #080h
xdata External data memory MOVX @DPTR
code Program memory MOVC @A+DPTR

These extensions may be used as part of the variable type in declaration or casting by placing the extension after the type, as in the example below. If the memory type extension is not specified, the compiler will decide which memory type to use automatically, based on the memory model (SMALL, COMPACT, or LARGE, as specified in the project and implimentation properties in Keil).
/* This is a function that will calculate and return a checksum of */
/* a range of addresses in code memory, using a simple algorithm */
/* that simply adds each consecutive byte together. This could be */
/* useful for verifying if the code in ROM got corrupted (like if */
/* the Flash device were wearing out). */
unsigned int checksum (unsigned int start, unsigned int end)
/* first, declare pointers to the start and end of */
/* the range in code memory. */
unsigned int code *codeptr, *codeend;
/* now declare the variable the checksum will be */
/* calculated in. Because direct-addressable data */
/* is faster to access than indirect, and this */
/* variable will be accessed frequently, we will */
/* declare it in data memory (instead of idata). */
/* In reality, if left unspecified, the compiler */
/* would probably leave it in the accumulator for */
/* even faster access, but that would defeat the */
/* point of this example. */
unsigned int data checksum = 0;
/* Initialize the codestart and codeend pointers to */
/* the addresses passed into the function as params. */
/* because start and end are passed in as values, */
/* not pointers, they must be cast to the correct */
/* pointer type */
codeptr = (unsigned int code *)start;
codeend = (unsigned int code *)end;
/* Now perform the checksum calculation, looping */
/* until the end of the range is reached. */
while (codeptr <= codeend)
checksum = checksum + (unsigned int data)*codeptr;
codeptr++; /* go to the next address */
return (checksum);
Keil Function Extensions
As in most other C compilers, functions may be declared in one of two fashions:
unsigned int functionname (unsigned int var)
return (var);
} functionname (var)
unsigned int var
return (var);
Most modern programmers use the first syntax, as do the examples in this document.
Keil provides two important extensions to the standard function declaration to allow for the creation of interrupt handlers and reentrant functions.
In writing applications for a typical computer, the operating system provides system calls for setting a function, declared in the standard manner, as the handler for an interrupt. However, in writing code for an 8051 without an operating system, such a system would not be possible using solely C code. To eliminate this problem, the Keil compiler implements a function extension that explicitly declares a function as an interrupt handler. The extension is interrupt, and it must be followed by an integer specifying which interrupt the handler is for. For example:
/* This is a function that will be called whenever a serial */
/* interrupt occurs. Note that before this will work, interrupts */
/* must be enabled. See the interrupt example in the appendix. */
void serial_int (void) interrupt 4
In the example, a function called serial_int is set as the handler for interrupt 4, which is the serial port interrupt. The number is calculated by subtracting 3 from the interrupt vector address and dividing by 8. The five standard interrupts for the 8051 are as follows:
Interrupt Vector address Interrupt number
External 0 0003h 0
Timer 0 000Bh 1
External 1 0013h 2
Timer 1 001Bh 3
Serial 0023h 4
Other interrupts are dependent on the implementation in the particular 8051-derivative being used in the project and implimentation, but may be calculated in the same manor using the vector addresses specified by the manufacturer.
Since the processor only save the current program counter before executing an interrupt handler, the handler can potentially damage any data that was in the registers prior to the interrupt. This in turn would corrupt the program once the processor goes back to where it left off. To avoid this, the Keil compiler determines which registers will be used by the interrupt handler function, pushes them out to the stack, executes the handler, and then restores the registers from the stack, before returning to the interrupted code. However, this incurs extra time, especially if a lot of registers will be used. It is preferred that as little time be spent in interrupts as possible. To decrease this time, Keil provides an optional extension, using, to the interrupt extension that tells the compiler to simple change to a new register bank prior to executing the handler, instead of pushing the registers to the stack.
/* This is a function that will be called whenever a serial */
/* interrupt occurs. Prior to executing the handler, the */
/* processor will switch to register bank 1
void serial_int (void) interrupt 4 using 1

In the 8051, interrupts have two possible priorities: high and lo. If, during the processing of an interrupt, another interrupt of the same priority occurs, the processor will continue processing the first interrupt. The second interrupt will only be processed after the first has finished. However, if an interrupt of a higher priority arrives, the first (low priority) interrupt will itself be interrupted, and not resume until the higher priority interrupt has finished. Because of this, all interrupts of the same priority may use the same register bank.
The using extension should be used when quick execution time is of high importance, or when other functions are called from the interrupt handler, as it would otherwise push all of the registers on to the stack prior to calling the function, incurring more time penalties.
Similar to the case described for interrupts above, it is possible for a single function to be interrupted by itself. For example, in the middle of normal execution of the function, the interrupt occurs, and that interrupt makes a call to the same function. While the interrupt handler will save the registers before entering this function, no protective measures are taken from overwriting the contents of local variables allocated in data memory. When the interrupt is serviced and control is passed back to normal execution, the corrupted data in those variables could ruin the entire program.
The general term for a function that may be called more than once simultaneously is "reentrant." Accordingly, the reentrant extension may be used in a function declaration to force the compiler to maintain a separate data area in memory for each instance of the function. While safe, this does have the potential to use large area of the rather limited data memory. An example of such a function follows.
/* Because this function may be called from both the main program */
/* and an interrupt handler, it is declared as reentrant to */
/* protect its local variables. */
int somefunction (int param) reentrant
return (param);
/* The handler for External interrupt 0, which uses somefunction() */
void external0_int (void) interrupt 0
/* the main program function, which also calls somefunction() */
void main (void)
while (1==1)
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.pdf   cplusplus.pdf (Size: 1.61 MB / Downloads: 74)
C++ Annotations Version 5.1.1a

Frank B. Brokken
Computing Center, University of Groningen
Landleven 1,
P.O. Box 800,
9700 AV Groningen
The Netherlands
Published at the University of Groningen
ISBN 90 367 0470 7


This document is intended for knowledgeable users of C who would like to make the transition to C++. It is a
guide for Frank’s C++ programming courses, which are given yearly at the University of Groningen. As such, this
document is not a complete C++ handbook. Rather, it serves as an addition to other documentation sources.
If you want a hard-copy version of the C++ annotations: hard copies are available in postscript, pdf and other
formats in
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C Interview Questions and Answers
What is C language?
The C programming language is a standardized programming language
developed in the early 1970s by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie for
use on the UNIX operating system. It has since spread to many other
operating systems, and is one of the most widely used programming
languages. C is prized for its efficiency, and is the most popular
programming language for writing system software, though it is also
used for writing applications.
printf() Function
What is the output of printf("%d")?
1. When we write printf("%d",x); this means compiler will print the
value of x. But as here, there is nothing after %d so compiler will show
in output window garbage value.
2. When we use %d the compiler internally uses it to access the
argument in the stack (argument stack). Ideally compiler determines
the offset of the data variable depending on the format specification
string. Now when we write printf("%d",a) then compiler first accesses
the top most element in the argument stack of the printf which is %d
and depending on the format string it calculated to offset to the actual
data variable in the memory which is to be printed. Now when only %d
will be present in the printf then compiler will calculate the correct
offset (which will be the offset to access the integer variable) but as
the actual data object is to be printed is not present at that memory
location so it will print what ever will be the contents of that memory
3. Some compilers check the format string and will generate an error
without the proper number and type of arguments for things like
printf(...) and scanf(...).
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malloc() Function- What is the difference between "calloc(...)" and
1. calloc(...) allocates a block of memory for an array of elements of a
certain size. By default the block is initialized to 0. The total number of
memory allocated will be (number_of_elements * size).
malloc(...) takes in only a single argument which is the memory
required in bytes. malloc(...) allocated bytes of memory and not blocks
of memory like calloc(...).
2. malloc(...) allocates memory blocks and returns a void pointer to the
allocated space, or NULL if there is insufficient memory available.
calloc(...) allocates an array in memory with elements initialized to 0
and returns a pointer to the allocated space. calloc(...) calls malloc(...)
in order to use the C++ _set_new_mode function to set the new
handler mode.
printf() Function- What is the difference between "printf(...)" and
sprintf(...) writes data to the character array whereas printf(...) writes data to the
standard output device.
Compilation How to reduce a final size of executable?
Size of the final executable can be reduced using dynamic linking for
Linked Lists -- Can you tell me how to check whether a linked list is circular?
Create two pointers, and set both to the start of the list. Update each
as follows:
while (pointer1) {
pointer1 = pointer1->next;
pointer2 = pointer2->next;
if (pointer2) pointer2=pointer2->next;
if (pointer1 == pointer2) {
print ("circular");
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If a list is circular, at some point pointer2 will wrap around and be
either at the item just before pointer1, or the item before that. Either
way, its either 1 or 2 jumps until they meet.
"union" Data Type What is the output of the following program? Why?
main() {
typedef union {
int a;
char b[10];
float c;
Union x,y = {100};
x.a = 50;
x.c = 21.50;
printf("Union x : %d %s %f n",x.a,x.b,x.c);
printf("Union y : %d %s %f n",y.a,y.b,y.c);
What does static variable mean?
there are 3 main uses for the static.
1. If you declare within a function:
It retains the value between function calls
2.If it is declared for a function name:
By default function is it will be visible from other files if the
function declaration is as is invisible for the outer files
3. Static for global variables:
By default we can use the global variables from outside files If it is
static global..that variable is limited to with in the file
Advantages of a macro over a function?
Macro gets to see the Compilation environment, so it can expand __
__TIME__ __FILE__ #defines. It is expanded by the preprocessor.
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For example, you can’t do this without macros
#define PRINT(EXPR) printf( #EXPR “=%d\n”, EXPR)
PRINT( 5+6*7 ) // expands into printf(”5+6*7=%d”, 5+6*7 );
You can define your mini language with macros:
#define strequal(A,B) (!strcmp(A,B))
Macros are a necessary evils of life. The purists don’t like them, but
without it no real work gets done.
What are the differences between malloc() and calloc()?
There are 2 differences.
First, is in the number of arguments. malloc() takes a single
argument(memory required in bytes), while calloc() needs 2
arguments(number of variables to allocate memory, size in bytes of a
single variable).
Secondly, malloc() does not initialize the memory allocated, while
calloc() initializes the allocated memory to ZERO.
What are the different storage classes in C?
C has three types of storage: automatic, static and allocated.
Variable having block scope and without static specifier have
automatic storage duration.
Variables with block scope, and with static specifier have static scope.
Global variables (i.e, file scope) with or without the static specifier also
have static scope.
Memory obtained from calls to malloc(), alloc() or realloc() belongs to
allocated storage class.
What is the difference between strings and character arrays?
A major difference is: string will have static storage duration, whereas
as a character array will not, unless it is explicity specified by using the
static keyword.
Actually, a string is a character array with following properties:
Visit for more Interview Questions with Answers Page 5
* the multibyte character sequence, to which we generally call string,
is used to initialize an array of static storage duration. The size of this
array is just sufficient to contain these characters plus the terminating
NUL character.
* it not specified what happens if this array, i.e., string, is modified.
* Two strings of same value[1] may share same memory area. For
example, in the following declarations:
char *s1 = “Calvin and Hobbes”;
char *s2 = “Calvin and Hobbes”;
the strings pointed by s1 and s2 may reside in the same memory
location. But, it is not true for the following:
char ca1[] = “Calvin and Hobbes”;
char ca2[] = “Calvin and Hobbes”;
[1] The value of a string is the sequence of the values of the contained
characters, in order.
Difference between const char* p and char const* p
In const char* p, the character pointed by ‘p’ is constant, so u cant
change the value of character pointed by p but u can make ‘p’ refer to
some other location.
in char const* p, the ptr ‘p’ is constant not the character referenced by
it, so u cant make ‘p’ to reference to any other location but u can
change the value of the char pointed by ‘p’.
What is hashing?
To hash means to grind up, and that’s essentially what hashing is all
about. The heart of a hashing algorithm is a hash function that takes
your nice, neat data and grinds it into some random-looking integer.
The idea behind hashing is that some data either has no inherent
ordering (such as images) or is expensive to compare (such as
images). If the data has no inherent ordering, you can’t perform
comparison searches.
If the data is expensive to compare, the number of comparisons used
Visit for more Interview Questions with Answers Page 6
even by a binary search might be too many. So instead of looking at
the data themselves, you’ll condense (hash) the data to an integer (its
hash value) and keep all the data with the same hash value in the
same place. This task is carried out by using the hash value as an
index into an array.
To search for an item, you simply hash it and look at all the data whose
hash values match that of the data you’re looking for. This technique
greatly lessens the number of items you have to look at. If the
parameters are set up with care and enough storage is available for
the hash table, the number of comparisons needed to find an item can
be made arbitrarily close to one.
One aspect that affects the efficiency of a hashing implementation is
the hash function itself. It should ideally distribute data randomly
throughout the entire hash table, to reduce the likelihood of collisions.
Collisions occur when two different keys have the same hash value.
There are two ways to resolve this problem. In open addressing, the
collision is resolved by the choosing of another position in the hash
table for the element inserted later. When the hash table is searched, if
the entry is not found at its hashed position in the table, the search
continues checking until either the element is found or an empty
position in the table is found.
The second method of resolving a hash collision is called chaining. In
this method, a bucket or linked list holds all the elements whose keys
hash to the same value. When the hash table is searched, the list must
be searched linearly.
How can you determine the size of an allocated portion of memory?
You can’t, really. free() can , but there’s no way for your program to
know the trick free() uses. Even if you disassemble the library and
discover the trick, there’s no guarantee the trick won’t change with the
next release of the compiler.
Can static variables be declared in a header file?
You can’t declare a static variable without defining it as well (this is
because the storage class modifiers static and extern are mutually
exclusive). A static variable can be defined in a header file, but this
would cause each source file that included the header file to have its
Visit for more Interview Questions with Answers Page 7
own private copy of the variable, which is probably not what was
Can a variable be both const and volatile?
Yes. The const modifier means that this code cannot change the value
of the variable, but that does not mean that the value cannot be
changed by means outside this code. For instance, in the example in
FAQ 8, the timer structure was accessed through a volatile const
pointer. The function itself did not change the value of the timer, so it
was declared const. However, the value was changed by hardware on
the computer, so it was declared volatile. If a variable is both const and
volatile, the two modifiers can appear in either order.
Can include files be nested?
Yes. Include files can be nested any number of times. As long as you
use precautionary measures , you can avoid including the same file
twice. In the past, nesting header files was seen as bad programming
practice, because it complicates the dependency tracking function of
the MAKE program and thus slows down compilation. Many of today’s
popular compilers make up for this difficulty by implementing a
concept called precompiled headers, in which all headers and
associated dependencies are stored in a precompiled state.
Many programmers like to create a custom header file that has
#include statements for every header needed for each module. This is
perfectly acceptable and can help avoid potential problems relating to
#include files, such as accidentally omitting an #include file in a
When does the compiler not implicitly generate the address of the first
element of an array?
Whenever an array name appears in an expression such as
- array as an operand of the sizeof operator
- array as an operand of & operator
- array as a string literal initializer for a character array
Then the compiler does not implicitly generate the address of the
address of the first element of an array.

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