July 1, 2022

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Blinking An Arduino LED, In Julia

2 min read


The Julia programming language is a terrible fit for a no-frills microcontroller like the ATMega328p that lies inside the basic Arduino, but that didn’t end [Sukera] from striving, and succeeding.

All of the attributes that make Julia a neat programming language for your large laptop make it an dreadful choice for the Arduino. It’s designed for interactivity, is dynamically typed, and leans intensely on its garbage selection just about every of these features alone would tax the Mega to the breaking point. But in its favor, it is a compiled language that is primarily based on LLVM, and LLVM has an AVR backend for C. Should just be a basic make any difference of stubbing out some of the overhead, recompiling LLVM to increase an AVR target for Julia, and then repairing up all the other free ends, right?

Effectively, it turns out it almost was. Leaning closely on the adaptability of LLVM, [Sukera] manages to transform off all the language attributes that are not essential, and immediately after some small hurdles like the common difficulties with volatile and atomic variables, manages to blink an LED little by little. Huzzah. We appreciate [Sukera’s] wry “Now THAT is what I phone two days nicely spent!” right after it’s all accomplished, but very seriously, this is the initial time we’ve each witnessed even super-rudimentary Julia code running on an 8-bit microcontroller, so there are certainly some kudos owing in this article.

By the time that Julia is wedged into the AVR, a lot of what tends to make it interesting on the large pcs is missing on the micro, so we really do not seriously see persons selecting it in excess of straight C, which has a a great deal a lot more produced ecosystem. But nonetheless, it’s great to see what it can take to get a language intended all over a runtime and rubbish selection up and working on our favourite mini micro.

Many thanks [Joel] for the suggestion!



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