Application Shared Memory


In this document, we will cover the basic usage of enabling shared memory using a template around app_memory subsystem.


The use of subsystem app_memory in userspace allows control of shared memory between threads. The foundation of the implementation consists of memory domains and partitions. Memory partitions are created and used in the definition of variable to group them into a common space. The memory partitions are linked to domains that are then assigned to a thread. The process allows selective access to memory from a thread and sharing of memory between two threads by assigning a partition to two different domains. By using the shared memory template, code to protect memory can be used on different platform without the application needing to implement specific handlers for each platform. Note the developer should understand the hardware limitations in context to the maximum number of memory partitions available to a thread. Specifically processors with MPU’s cannot support the same number of partitions as a MMU.

This specific implementation adds a wrapper to simplify the programmers task of using the app_memory subsystem through the use of macros and a python script to generate the linker script. The linker script provides the proper alignment for processors requiring power of two boundaries. Without the wrapper, a developer is required to implement custom linker scripts for each processor in the project.

The general usage is as follows. Include app_memory/app_memdomain.h in the userspace source file. Mark the variable to be placed in a memory partition. The two markers are for data and bss respectively: K_APP_DMEM(id) and K_APP_BMEM(id). The id is used as the partition name. The resulting section name can be seen in the as “data_smem_id” and “data_smem_idb”.

To create a k_mem_partition, call the macro K_APPMEM_PARTITION_DEFINE(part0) where “part0” is the name then used to refer to that partition. The standard memory domain APIs may be used to add it to domains; the declared name is a k_mem_partition symbol.


/* create partition at top of file outside functions */
/* create domain */
struct k_mem_domain dom0;
/* assign variables to the domain */
K_APP_DMEM(part0) int var1;
K_APP_BMEM(part0) static volatile int var2;

int main()
        k_mem_domain_init(&dom0, 0, NULL)
        k_mem_domain_add_partition(&dom0, part0);
        k_mem_domain_add_thread(&dom0, k_current_get());

If multiple partitions are being created, a variadic preprocessor macro can be used as provided in app_macro_support.h: