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ERC32 Ada has a compact high-performance run-time system that is considerably smaller and faster than others we have evaluated. For example, we looked at another GNAT-based compiler using the RTEMS real-time kernel and compared its performance with ERC32 Ada. The results are summarized in this report.
The information was prepared December 1999 in response to a query from a customer who is already using the "free" ERC32 compiler from ESTEC. We compare the latest compilation system from ESTEC – erc32ccs Version 2.0.7, dated November 26, 1999, with ERC32 Ada Version 1.2.
For code size, we measured program size. That is the size of the linked executable program, which includes all instructions, read-only data, and static data. The size does not include the stack or the heap.
We measured the size using the ‘size’ utility, erc-coff-size for ERC32 Ada, and sparc-rtems-size for erc32ccs.
For execution time we used the ERC32 simulator and the ERC32’s real-time clock. Both compilation systems initialize the clock to tick at one microsecond, so we had the capability of measuring quite short periods of time with a resolution of one microsecond.
The results that show execution time give the raw times, followed by the times adjusted to account for the differing clock speed: the ERC32 Ada simulator runs at 10MHz (the speed of the Saab Ericsson DEM32 board), and the ERC32CCS simulator runs at 14MHz.
The program size is the number of bytes of PROM that the program requires. The size omits the run-time data areas such as the stack, but does include the code and data needed to initialize the static variable data area.
|Benchmark||Description||Erc32ccs total size in bytes||ERC32 Ada total size in bytes||Ratio|
|T2||Null program with delay statement||277692||8912||31:1|
|T3||Null program with task||249692||9632||25:1|
|T4||Null program with protected object||244604||9400||26:1|
|Eg1||Small (264 lines) real-time application program that uses tasks and protected objects||333532||18856||18:1|
We measured the execution time of several calls of a trivial protected object. These times give you an idea of the overhead of using protected types in your real-time system.
|Test||Description||ERC32CCS time in microseconds at 14MHz||ERC32CCS time adjusted to 10MHz||ERC32 Ada time in microseconds at 10MHz||Ratio|
|B1||Trivial protected procedure call||210||294||14||21:1|
|B2||Trivial protected function call||182||255||17||15:1|
|B3||Trivial (non-blocking) protected entry call||242||338||17||20:1|
|B4||Time from call of protected procedure to exit from corresponding entry call||591||827||111||7.5:1|
The predefined package Ada.Synchronous_Task_Control offers an alternative to protected types that requires less run-time support and is potentially much quicker.
|Test||Description||ERC32CCS result in microseconds at 14MHz||ERC32CCS result normalized to 10MHz||ERC32 Ada result in microseconds at 10MHz||Ratio|
|1||Set_True and switch to waiting higher priority task||617||863||106||8:1|
|2||Suspend_Until_True with flag already true||394||551||5||110:1|
Switching from one Ada task to another requires the run-time system to save most of the 160 ERC32 registers for the current task, and then to restore the registers for the new task. The time to do this with the time to manage the register cache mechanism form a lower limit to the context switch time for any multi-tasking code. Some improvement could be made for programs that do not use floating point arithmetic, by omitting the code to save and restore the 32 floating-point registers. This is a run-time system configuration option.
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