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Chapter 17. Advanced Coding and Memory Handling

17.0. Introduction

As you do more with your Arduino, your sketches need to become more efficient. The techniques in this chapter can help you improve the performance and reduce the code size of your sketches. If you need to make your sketch run faster or use less RAM, the recipes here can help. The recipes here are more technical than most of the other recipes in this book because they cover things that are usually concealed by the friendly Arduino wrapper.

The Arduino build process was designed to hide complex aspects of C and C++, as well as the tools used to convert a sketch into the bytes that are uploaded and run on an Arduino board. But if your project has performance and resource requirements beyond the capability of the standard Arduino environment, you should find the recipes here useful.

The Arduino board uses memory to store information. It has three kinds of memory: program memory, random access memory (RAM), and EEPROM. Each has different characteristics and uses. Many of the techniques in this chapter cover what to do if you do not have enough of one kind of memory.

Program memory (also known as flash) is where the executable sketch code is stored. The contents of program memory can only be changed by the bootloader in the upload process initiated by the Arduino software running on your computer. After the upload process is completed, the memory cannot be changed until the next upload. There is far more program memory on ...

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