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Linker User Guide

Conventions and feedback Overview of the linker Linking models supported by armlink Image structure and generation Using linker optimizations Getting information about images Accessing and managing symbols with armlink Using scatter files About scatter-loading When to use scatter-loading Scatter-loading command-line option Images with a simple memory map Images with a complex memory map Linker-defined symbols that are not defined when s Specifying stack and heap using the scatter file What is a root region? Creating root execution regions Using the FIXED attribute to create root regions Placing functions and data at specific addresses Placing a named section explicitly using scatter-l Placing unassigned sections with the .ANY module s Examples of using placement algorithms for .ANY se Example of next_fit algorithm showing behavior of Examples of using sorting algorithms for .ANY sect Selecting veneer input sections in scatter-loading Using __attribute__((section("name"))) t Using __at sections to place sections at a specifi Restrictions on placing __at sections Automatic placement of __at sections Manual placement of __at sections Placing a key in flash memory using __at Placing a structure over a peripheral register usi Placement of sections with overlays About placing ARM C and C++ library code Example of placing code in a root region Example of placing ARM C library code Example of placing ARM C++ library code Example of placing ARM library helper functions Reserving an empty region About creating regions on page boundaries Overalignment of execution regions and input secti Using preprocessing commands in a scatter file Expression evaluation in scatter files Using expression evaluation in a scatter file to a Equivalent scatter-loading descriptions for simple Type 1 image, one load region and contiguous execu Type 2 image, one load region and non-contiguous e Type 3 image, two load regions and non-contiguous Scatter file to ELF mapping

Reserving an empty region

Reserving an empty region

You can use the EMPTY attribute in an execution region scatter-loading description to reserve an empty block of memory for the stack.

The block of memory does not form part of the load region, but is assigned for use at execution time. Because it is created as a dummy ZI region, the linker uses the following symbols to access it:

  • Image$$region_name$$ZI$$Base

  • Image$$region_name$$ZI$$Limit

  • Image$$region_name$$ZI$$Length.

If the length is given as a negative value, the address is taken to be the end address of the region. This must be an absolute address and not a relative one.

In the following example, the execution region definition STACK 0x800000 EMPTY -0x10000 defines a region called STACK that starts at address 0x7F0000 and ends at address 0x800000:

Example 32. Reserving a region for the stack

LR_1 0x80000                          ; load region starts at 0x80000   
    STACK 0x800000 EMPTY -0x10000     ; region ends at 0x800000 because of the
                                      ; negative length. The start of the region
                                      ; is calculated using the length.
                                      ; Empty region used to place stack
    HEAP +0 EMPTY 0x10000             ; region starts at the end of previous
                                      ; region. End of region calculated using
                                      ; positive length
                                      ; Empty region used to place heap
    .	..                               ; rest of scatter-loading description...


The dummy ZI region that is created for an EMPTY execution region is not initialized to zero at runtime.

If the address is in relative (+offset) form and the length is negative, the linker generates an error.

The following figure shows a diagrammatic representation for this example.

Figure 9. Reserving a region for the stack

In this example, the linker generates the symbols:

Image$$STACK$$ZI$$Base      = 0x7f0000
Image$$STACK$$ZI$$Limit     = 0x800000
Image$$STACK$$ZI$$Length    = 0x10000
Image$$HEAP$$ZI$$Base       = 0x800000
Image$$HEAP$$ZI$$Limit      = 0x810000
Image$$HEAP$$ZI$$Length     = 0x10000


The EMPTY attribute applies only to an execution region. The linker generates a warning and ignores an EMPTY attribute used in a load region definition.

The linker checks that the address space used for the EMPTY region does not coincide with any other execution region.

Copyright © 2007-2008, 2011-2012 ARM. All rights reserved.ARM DUI 0377D

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