What is SDCC?
SDCC is a retargettable, optimizing ANSI - C compiler suite that
targets the Intel MCS51 based microprocessors (8031, 8032, 8051, 8052, etc.),
Maxim (formerly Dallas) DS80C390 variants,
Freescale (formerly Motorola) HC08 based (hc08, s08) and
Zilog Z80 based MCUs (z80, z180, gbz80, Rabbit 2000/3000, Rabbit 3000A).
Work is in progress on supporting the Microchip PIC16 and PIC18
targets. It can be retargeted for other microprocessors.
SDCC suite is a collection of several components derived from different sources with
different FOSS licenses. SDCC compiler suite include:
- sdas and sdld, a retargettable assembler and linker, based on ASXXXX, written by Alan Baldwin; (GPL).
- sdcpp preprocessor, based on GCC cpp; (GPL).
- ucsim simulators, originally written by Daniel Drotos; (GPL).
- sdcdb source level debugger, originally written by Sandeep Dutta; (GPL).
- sdbinutils library archive utilities, including sdar, sdranlib and sdnm, derived from GNU Binutils; (GPL)
- SDCC run-time libraries; (GPL+LE). Pic device libraries and header files are derived from Microchip header (.inc) and linker script (.lkr) files. Microchip requires that "The header files should state that they are only to be used with authentic Microchip devices" which makes them incompatible with the GPL.
- gcc-test regression tests, derived from gcc-testsuite; (no license explicitely specified, but since it is a part of GCC is probably GPL licensed)
- packihx; (public domain)
- makebin; (zlib/libpng License)
- sdcc C compiler, originally written by Sandeep Dutta; (GPL). Some of the features include:
- extensive MCU specific language extensions, allowing effective use of the underlying hardware.
- a host of standard optimizations such as global sub expression
elimination, loop optimizations (loop invariant, strength reduction of induction
variables and loop reversing), constant folding and propagation,
copy propagation, dead code elimination and jump tables for 'switch' statements.
- MCU specific optimizations, including a global register allocator.
- adaptable MCU specific backend that should be well suited for other 8 bit MCUs
- independent rule based peep hole optimizer.
- a full range of data types: char (8 bits, 1 byte), short (16 bits, 2 bytes),
int (16 bits, 2 bytes), long (32 bit, 4 bytes), float (4 byte IEEE) and
basic (no integer constants) support for long long (64 bit, 8 bytes) data types for the z80, z180,
r2k, r3ka, gbz80, hc08 and s08 targets.
- the ability to add inline assembler code anywhere in a function.
- the ability to report on the complexity of a function to help decide what should be re-written in assembler.
- a good selection of automated regression tests.
SDCC was written by Sandeep Dutta and released under a GPL license.
Since its initial release there have been numerous bug fixes and improvements.
As of December 1999, the code was moved to SourceForge where all the "users
turned developers" can access the same source tree. SDCC is constantly being
updated with all the users' and developers' input.
May 20th, 2013: Small Device C Compiler 3.3.0 released.
A new release of SDCC, the portable optimizing compiler for 8051, DS390, Z80, Z180, Rabbit 2000, HC08 and PIC microprocessors
is now available (http://sdcc.sourceforge.net). Sources, documentation
and binaries compiled for x86 Linux, x86 and x64 MS Windows and x86 and PPC Mac OS X are available.
SDCC 3.3.0 Feature List:
- Many small improvements in code generation for the z80-related ports - merged smallopts branch
- lospre (currently enabled for z80-related and hc08-related ports only) - merged lospre branch
- More efficient initialization of globals in z80, z180, r2k and r3ka ports.
- Inclusion of tests from the gcc test suite into the sdcc regression test suite led to many bugs being found and fixed.
- Split sdas390 from sdas8051
- Merged big parts of ASxxxx v5 into sdas
- New pic devices (synchronization with MPLABX 1.60). (Except for very old MCU-s.)
- New script which disassembles those hex files, in which MCS51 code there is. (mcs51-disasm.pl)
- Added the PIC16F1788 and PIC16F1789 devices.
- C11 _Alignof operator.
- C11 _Alignas alignment specifier.
- C11 _Static_Assert static assertion.
Numerous feature requests and bug fixes are included as well.
You can download the release from:
What Platforms are Supported?
Linux - x86, Microsoft Windows - x86, Microsoft Windows - x86_64 and Mac OS X
are the primary, so called "officially supported" platforms.
SDCC compiles natively on Linux and Mac OS X
using gcc. Windows release and snapshot builds are made by
cross compiling to mingw32 on a Linux host.
Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8 users are
recommended to use Cygwin (http://sources.redhat.com/cygwin/)
or may try the unsupported Microsoft Visual C++ build scripts.
Sourceforge download page for the last released version including source and
binary packages for Linux - x86, Microsoft Windows - x86,
Microsoft Windows - x86_64 and Mac OS X - ppc and i386.
Major Linux distributions take care of SDCC installation packages themselves
and you will find SDCC in their repositories. Unfortunately SDCC packages included
in Linux disributions are often outdated. In this case users are encouraged to compile
the latest official SDCC release or a recent snapshot build by themselves or download
the pre-compiled binaries from
Sourceforge download page.
SDCC is known to compile from the source code also on the following platforms:
- Linux - x86_64
- Linux - Alpha
- Linux - IBM Power5
- NetBSD - i386
- NetBSD - Sparc64
- FreeBSD - i386
- SUN Solaris - i386
- SUN Solaris - Sparc
- Rasbian (Debian for Raspberry Pi) - ARMv6
SDCC is always under active development. Please consider
downloading one of the snapshot builds
if you have run across a bug, or if the above release is more than two months old.
The latest development source code can be accessed using Subversion. The following
will fetch the latest sources:
svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/sdcc/code/trunk/sdcc sdcc
... will create the sdcc directory in your current directory and place all
downloaded code there. You can browse the Subversion repository
Before reporting a bug, please check your SDCC version and build
date using the -v option, and be sure to include the full version string in your bug report. For example:
sdcc/bin > sdcc -v
SDCC : mcs51/gbz80/z80/avr/ds390/pic14/TININative/xa51 2.3.8 (Feb 10 2004) (UNIX)
Support for SDCC
SDCC and the included support packages come with fair amounts of documentation
and examples. When they aren't enough, you can find help in the
places listed below. Here is a short check list of tips to greatly improve your
chances of obtaining a helpful response.
- Attach the code you are compiling with SDCC. It should compile "out of the box".
Snippets must compile and must include any required header files, etc.
Incomplete information will hamper your chance of a timely response.
- Specify the exact command you use to run SDCC, or attach your Makefile.
- Specify the SDCC version (type "sdcc -v"), your platform and operating system.
- Provide an exact copy of any error message or incorrect output.
Please attempt to include these 4 important parts,
as applicable, in all requests for support or when reporting any problems or bugs
with SDCC. Though this will make your message lengthy, it will greatly improve your
chance that SDCC users and developers will be able to help you. Some SDCC developers
are frustrated by bug reports without code provided that they can use to reproduce
and ultimately fix the problem, so please be sure to provide sample code if you are
reporting a bug!
- Web Page - you are (X) here.
- Mailing list: [use "BUG REPORTING" below if you believe you have found a bug.]
- Send to the developer list <sdcc-devel.AT.lists.sourceforge.net> -
for development work on SDCC
- Send to the user list <sdcc-user.AT.lists.sourceforge.net> -
[preferred] all developers and all users.
Subscribe to the user list
Bug Reporting - if you have a problem using SDCC, we need to
hear about it. Please attach code to reproduce the problem,
and be sure to provide your email address so a developer can contact
you if they need more information to investigate and fix the bug.
Website/Documentation Issues - Please report erroneous, missing or outdated
SDCC Message Forum - an account on Sourceforge is needed if you're going to
post and reply. Short easy online fill-in the blanks.
- Open Knowledge Web Site -
Run by Thorsten Godau <thorsten.godau.AT.gmx.de>
Who is SDCC?
- Sandeep Dutta <sandeep.AT.users.sourceforge.net> - original author (SDCC's version of Torvalds)
- Jean Loius-VERN <jlvern.AT.writeme.com> - substantial improvement in the back-end code generation.
- Daniel Drotos <drdani.AT.mazsola.iit.uni-miskolc.hu> - Freeware simulator for 8051.
- Kevin Vigor <kevin.AT.vigor.nu> - numerous enhancements and bug fixes to the Dallas ds390 tree.
- Johan Knol <johan.knol.AT.users.sourceforge.net> - testing and patching ds390 tree, bug stompper extrodanaire
- Scott Dattalo <scott.AT.dattalo.com> - sdcc for Microchip PIC controller target
- Karl Bongers <karl.AT.turbobit.com> - mcs51 support, winbin builds, and an occasional bug.
- Bernhard Held <bernhard.AT.bernhardheld.de> - snpshot builds and general housekeeping
- Frieder Ferlemann <Frieder.Ferlemann.AT.web.de> - contributions to the documentation and last stages
of code generation
- Jesus Calvino-Fraga <jesusc.AT.ece.ubc.ca> - math functions, AOMF51, linker improvements
- Borut Ražem <borut.razem.AT.gmail.com> - WIN32 MSC, cygwin and mingw ports, NSIS installer,
preprocessor and front end improvements, bug fixing, snapshot builds on Distibuted Compile Farm, ...
- Vangelis Rokas <vrokas.AT.otenet.gr> - PIC16 taget development for Microchip PIC18F microcontrollers
- Erik Petrich <epetrich.AT.users.sourceforge.net> - Bug fixes and improvements for the front end,
8051, z80 and hc08
- Dave Helton <dave.AT.kd0yu.com> - website design
- Paul Stoffregen <paul.AT.pjrc.com> - mcs51 optimizations and website maintenance.
- Michael Hope <michaelh.AT.juju.net.nz> - initial Z80 target, additional coding and bug fixes.
- Maarten Brock <sourceforge.brock.AT.dse.nl> - several bug fixes and improvements, esp. for mcs51 target
- Raphael Neider <RNeider.AT.web.de> - bug fixes and optimizations for PIC16, completion of the PIC14 target
- Philipp Klaus Krause <pkk.AT.spth.de> - z80 and gbz80 bug fixes and optimizations, z180 target
- Leland Morrison <enigmalee.AT.sourceforget.net> - Rabbit 2000 support: the target code generator,
sdasrab assembler and ucsim support
- Molnár Károly <molnarkaroly.AT.users.sf.net> - adding pic devices, developing and maintaining pic device files
SDCC has had help from a number of external sources, including:
- Alan Baldwin <baldwin.AT.shop-pdp.kent.edu> - Initial version of ASXXXX and ASLINK.
- John Hartman <noice.AT.noicedebugger.com> - Porting ASXXXX and ASLINK for 8051.
- Dmitry S. Obukhov <dso.AT.usa.net> - malloc and serial I/O routines.
- Pascal Felber - Some of the Z80 related files are borrowed from the Gameboy Development Kit (GBDK).
- The GCC development team - for GNU C preprocessor,
the basis of sdcpp preprocessor and gcc test suite, partially included into the SDCC regression test suite
- The GNU Binutils development team - for GNU Binutils,
the basis of sdbinutils
- Boost Community - for Boost C++ libraries used in sdcc compiler
- Timo Bingmann - for STX B+ Tree C++ Template Classes
used in sdcc compiler
- Malini Dutta <malini.AT.mediaone.net> - Sandeep's wife, for her patience and support.
May 12th, 2013: SDCC 3.3.0 RC3 released.
SDCC 3.3.0 Release Candidate 3 source, doc and binary packages for x86 Linux,
32 bit Windows, 64 bit Windows and universal Mac OS X are available in corresponding folders at:
May 11th, 2013: SDCC 3.3.0 RC2 released.
SDCC 3.3.0 Release Candidate 2 source, doc and binary packages for x86 Linux,
32 bit Windows, 64 bit Windows and universal Mac OS X are available in corresponding folders at:
May 5th, 2013: SDCC 3.3.0 RC1 released.
SDCC 3.3.0 Release Candidate 1 source, doc and binary packages for x86 Linux,
32 bit Windows and universal Mac OS X are available in corresponding folders at:
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June 17, 2013 08:43:19.