Modifying the Memory Layout

Each eCos platform package is supplied with linker script fragments which describe the location of memory regions on the evaluation board and the location of memory sections within these regions. The correct linker script fragment is selected and included in the eCos linker script target.ld when eCos is built.

It is not necessary to modify the default memory layouts in order to start development with eCos. However, it will be necessary to edit a linker script fragment when the memory map of the evaluation board is changed. For example, if additional memory is added, the linker must be notified that the new memory is available for use. As a minimum, this would involve modifying the length of the corresponding memory region. Where the available memory is non-contiguous, it may be necessary to declare a new memory region and reassign certain linker output sections to the new region.

Linker script fragments and memory layout header files should be edited within the eCos install tree. They are located at include/pkgconf/mlt_*.*. Where multiple start-up types are in use, it will be necessary to edit multiple linker script fragments and header files. The information provided in the header file and the corresponding linker script fragment must always match. A typical linker script fragment is shown below:

Example 26-1. eCos linker script fragment

 rom : ORIGIN = 0x40000000, LENGTH = 0x80000
 ram : ORIGIN = 0x48000000, LENGTH = 0x200000

 SECTION_rom_vectors (rom, 0x40000000, LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_text (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_fini (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_rodata (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_rodata1 (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_fixup (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_gcc_except_table (rom, ALIGN (0x1), LMA_EQ_VMA)
 SECTION_data (ram, 0x48000000, FOLLOWING (.gcc_except_table))
 SECTION_bss (ram, ALIGN (0x4), LMA_EQ_VMA)

The file consists of two blocks, the MEMORY block contains lines describing the address (ORIGIN) and the size (LENGTH) of each memory region. The MEMORY block is followed by the SECTIONS block which contains lines describing each of the linker output sections. Each section is represented by a macro call. The arguments of these macros are ordered as follows:

  1. The memory region in which the section will finally reside.

  2. The final address ( VMA ) of the section. This is expressed using one of the following forms:


    at the absolute address specified by the unsigned integer n

    ALIGN (n)

    following the final location of the previous section with alignment to the next n-byte boundary

  3. The initial address (LMA) of the section. This is expressed using one of the following forms:


    the LMA equals the VMA (no relocation)

    AT (n)

    at the absolute address specified by the unsigned integer n

    FOLLOWING (.name)

    following the initial location of section name

In order to maintain compatibility with linker script fragments and header files exported by the eCos Configuration Tool, the use of other expressions within these files is not recommended.

Note that the names of the linker output sections will vary between target architectures. A description of these sections can be found in the specific GCC documentation for your architecture.

Documentation license for this page: Open Publication License