Rust for Embedded Development

What is Rust?

Rust is a language that empowers everyone to build reliable and efficient software. It features

  • Reliability: Memory errors are able to be eliminated during compilation
  • Productivity: Great documentation, a friendly compiler with useful error messages, and top-notch tooling — an integrated package manager and build tool, smart multi-editor support with auto-completion and type inspections, an auto-formatter, and more.

Why use RUST on Embedded Development?

Rust is designed to guarantee both security and high performance. The design philosophy is right into what embedded development requires.
While embedded software has running problems that are mostly due to its memory. The Rust language can be regarded as a compiler-oriented language, so you can be sure that you are using memory safely while compiling. Here are some of the benefits of Rust developing on embedded devices:

  • Flexible memory
  • Fearless concurrency
  • Interoperability
  • Portability
  • Community driven

Call Rust in C

When we’re calling the Rust code in C code, requires us to package the Rust source code as a static library file. When the C code compiles, link it in.

Create lib Library

1.Use cargo init --lib rust_to_c to build a lib library in Clion. Add the following code to the lib.rs. The following function evaluates the sum of two values of type i32 and returns the result :

#![no_std]
use core::panic::PanicInfo;
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn sum(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
a + b
}
#[panic_handler]
fn panic(_info:&PanicInfo) -> !{
loop{}
}
[lib]
name = "sum"
crate-type = ["staticlib"]
path = "src/lib.rs"

Cross-compilation

1.Install armv7 target:

rustup target add armv7a-none-eabi
PS C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUST\rust_to_c> cargo build --target=armv7a-none-eabi --release --verbose
Fresh rust_to_c v0.1.0 (C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUST\rust_to_c)
Finished release [optimized] target(s) in 0.01s

Generate Header File

1.Install cbindgen, cbindgen generates C/C++11 header file from the rust library:

cargo install --force cbindgen
cbindgen --config cbindgen.toml --crate rust_to_c --output sum.h

Call Rust Library File

1.Put the generated sum.h and sum.a files into the rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9\applications directory

from building import *   cwd     = GetCurrentDir()
src = Glob('*.c') + Glob('*.cpp')
CPPPATH = [cwd]
LIBS = ["libsum.a"]
LIBPATH = [GetCurrentDir()]
group = DefineGroup('Applications', src, depend = [''], CPPPATH = CPPPATH, LIBS = LIBS, LIBPATH = LIBPATH) Return('group')
#include <stdint.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <rtthread.h>
#include "sum.h"
int main(void)
{
int32_t tmp;
tmp = sum(1, 2);
printf("call rust sum(1, 2) = %d\n", tmp);
return 0;
}
LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9
$ scons -j6
scons: Reading SConscript files ...
scons: done reading SConscript files.
scons: warning: you do not seem to have the pywin32 extensions installed;
parallel (-j) builds may not work reliably with open Python files.
File "D:\software\env_released_1.2.0\env\tools\Python27\Scripts\scons.py", line 204, in <module>
scons: Building targets ...
scons: building associated VariantDir targets: build
LINK rtthread.elf
arm-none-eabi-objcopy -O binary rtthread.elf rtthread.bin
arm-none-eabi-size rtthread.elf
text data bss dec hex filename
628220 2148 86700 717068 af10c rtthread.elf
scons: done building targets.
LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9
$ qemu.bat
WARNING: Image format was not specified for 'sd.bin' and probing guessed raw.
Automatically detecting the format is dangerous for raw images, write operations on block 0 will be restricted.
Specify the 'raw' format explicitly to remove the restrictions.
\ | /
- RT - Thread Operating System
/ | \ 4.0.4 build Jul 28 2021
2006 - 2021 Copyright by rt-thread team
lwIP-2.1.2 initialized!
[I/sal.skt] Socket Abstraction Layer initialize success.
[I/SDIO] SD card capacity 65536 KB.
[I/SDIO] switching card to high speed failed!
call rust sum(1, 2) = 3
msh />

Add, subtract, multiply and divide

1.We can implement some complicated math in rust. In the lib.rs file, use the rust language to implement add, subtract, multiply and divide:

#![no_std]
use core::panic::PanicInfo;
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn add(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
a + b
}
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn subtract(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
a - b
}
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn multiply(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
a * b
}
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn divide(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
a / b
}
#[panic_handler]
fn panic(_info:&PanicInfo) -> !{
loop{}
}
LINK rtthread.elf
d:/software/env_released_1.2.0/env/tools/gnu_gcc/arm_gcc/mingw/bin/../lib/gcc/arm-none-eabi/5.4.1/armv7-ar/thumb\libgcc.a(_arm_addsubdf3.o): In function `__aeabi_ul2d':
(.text+0x304): multiple definition of `__aeabi_ul2d'
applications\libsum.a(compiler_builtins-9b744f6fddf5e719.compiler_builtins.20m0qzjq-cgu.117.rcgu.o):/cargo/registry/src/github.com-1ecc6299db9ec823/compiler_builtins-0.1.35/src/float/conv.rs:143: first defined here
collect2.exe: error: ld returned 1 exit status
scons: *** [rtthread.elf] Error 1
scons: building terminated because of errors.
DEVICE = ' -march=armv7-a -marm -msoft-float'
CFLAGS = DEVICE + ' -Wall'
AFLAGS = ' -c' + DEVICE + ' -x assembler-with-cpp -D__ASSEMBLY__ -I.'
LINK_SCRIPT = 'link.lds'
LFLAGS = DEVICE + ' -nostartfiles -Wl,--gc-sections,-Map=rtthread.map,-cref,-u,system_vectors,--allow-multiple-definition'+\
' -T %s' % LINK_SCRIPT
CPATH = ''
LPATH = ''
LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9
$ scons -j6
scons: Reading SConscript files ...
scons: done reading SConscript files.
scons: warning: you do not seem to have the pywin32 extensions installed;
parallel (-j) builds may not work reliably with open Python files.
File "D:\software\env_released_1.2.0\env\tools\Python27\Scripts\scons.py", line 204, in <module>
scons: Building targets ...
scons: building associated VariantDir targets: build
LINK rtthread.elf
arm-none-eabi-objcopy -O binary rtthread.elf rtthread.bin
arm-none-eabi-size rtthread.elf
text data bss dec hex filename
628756 2148 86700 717604 af324 rtthread.elf
scons: done building targets.
LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9
$ qemu.bat
WARNING: Image format was not specified for 'sd.bin' and probing guessed raw.
Automatically detecting the format is dangerous for raw images, write operations on block 0 will be restricted.
Specify the 'raw' format explicitly to remove the restrictions.
\ | /
- RT - Thread Operating System
/ | \ 4.0.4 build Jul 28 2021
2006 - 2021 Copyright by rt-thread team
lwIP-2.1.2 initialized!
[I/sal.skt] Socket Abstraction Layer initialize success.
[I/SDIO] SD card capacity 65536 KB.
[I/SDIO] switching card to high speed failed!
call rust sum(1, 2) = 3
call rust subtract(2, 1) = 1
call rust multiply(2, 2) = 4
call rust divide(4, 2) = 2

Call C in Rust

Great to know that Rust can be called in C code, let’s give a try to call the rt_kprintf function in Rust:

Modify the lib.rs file

// The imported rt-thread functions list
extern "C" {
pub fn rt_kprintf(format: *const u8, ...);
}
#[no_mangle]
pub extern "C" fn add(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
unsafe {
rt_kprintf(b"this is from rust\n" as *const u8);
}
a + b
}

Generate Library File

cargo build --target=armv7a-none-eabi --release --verbose
Compiling rust_to_c v0.1.0 (C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUST\rust_to_c)
Running `rustc --crate-name sum --edition=2018 src/lib.rs --error-format=json --json=diagnostic-rendered-ansi --crate-type staticlib --emit=dep-info,link -C opt-level=3 -C embed-bitcode=no -C metadata=a
0723fa112c78339 -C extra-filename=-a0723fa112c78339 --out-dir C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUST\rust_to_c\target\armv7a-none-eabi\release\deps --target armv7a-none-eabi -L dependency=C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUS
T\rust_to_c\target\armv7a-none-eabi\release\deps -L dependency=C:\Users\LiuKang\Desktop\RUST\rust_to_c\target\release\deps`
Finished release [optimized] target(s) in 0.11s

Run

Copy the library files generated by rust into the application directory.

LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9                                                       
$ scons -j6
scons: Reading SConscript files ...
scons: done reading SConscript files.
scons: warning: you do not seem to have the pywin32 extensions installed;
parallel (-j) builds may not work reliably with open Python files.
File "D:\software\env_released_1.2.0\env\tools\Python27\Scripts\scons.py", line 204, in <module>
scons: Building targets ...
scons: building associated VariantDir targets: build
LINK rtthread.elf
arm-none-eabi-objcopy -O binary rtthread.elf rtthread.bin
arm-none-eabi-size rtthread.elf
text data bss dec hex filename
628812 2148 90796 721756 b035c rtthread.elf
scons: done building targets.
LiuKang@DESKTOP-538H6DE D:\repo\github\rt-thread\bsp\qemu-vexpress-a9
$ qemu.bat
WARNING: Image format was not specified for 'sd.bin' and probing guessed raw.
Automatically detecting the format is dangerous for raw images, write operations on block 0 will be restricted.
Specify the 'raw' format explicitly to remove the restrictions.
\ | /
- RT - Thread Operating System
/ | \ 4.0.4 build Jul 28 2021
2006 - 2021 Copyright by rt-thread team
lwIP-2.1.2 initialized!
[I/sal.skt] Socket Abstraction Layer initialize success.
[I/SDIO] SD card capacity 65536 KB.
[I/SDIO] switching card to high speed failed!
this is from rust
call rust sum(1, 2) = 3
call rust subtract(2, 1) = 1
call rust multiply(2, 2) = 4
call rust divide(4, 2) = 2
msh />

RT-Thread IoT OS Global Tech Conference is open for registration! We welcome developers from different countries to come together to exchange ideas, showcase projects, identify solutions, discuss future strategies, and provide mutual learning opportunities on a wide variety of topics exploring embedded technologies.

Free Register: https://forms.gle/8W1j2ZhCSLKFfyFQ8

An Open-Source Community-Powered Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) Project! We develop, we DIY, we create, we share, we explore this new IoT World together!