Thought Leadership

Article about using malloc() in embedded applications

By Colin Walls

My latest article on has been published here. I am looking at why using dynamic memory in embedded applications may or may not be a good idea. Here are the details:

Use malloc()? Why not?

A topic that I find particularly interesting, which is raised by many embedded software developers whom I meet, is dynamic memory allocation – grabbing chunks of memory as and when you need them. This seemingly simple and routine operation opens up a huge number of problems. These are not confined to embedded development – many desktop applications exhibit memory leaks that impact performance and can make system reboots common. However, I am concerned about the embedded development context.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at