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Determining Endianness and Alignment (C Generator)

LabVIEW 2011 C Generator Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 373144C-01

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Use the C Code Generation Properties dialog box to specify Endianness and alignment for the C code generated by the LabVIEW C Generator.

Endianness describes how the CPU stores or loads a multiple-byte number in memory. CPUs can use big-endian or little-endian form. Some CPUs can switch between being big-endian or little-endian form. Refer to the CPU documentation to determine endianness for the CPU.

Tip  You can use the htonl function, which converts any value to big-endian form, in a C application to determine endianness. The following example demonstrates the htonl function.

if ( htonl(2010) == 2010 ) printf("Big Endian\n");

else printf("Little Endian\n");

Alignment describes restrictions on where CPUs can store or load numbers in memory. The C Generator requires the most restrictive alignment among all the data types that LabVIEW uses. LVDefs_plat.h defines these data types. Alignment differs based on the compiler you are using and the compiler options you specify to compile the C code. Refer to the compiler and CPU documentation to determine the correct alignment value. Most compilers provide an __alignof macro to determine the alignment of a data type.

Tip  You can create a union of all data types you reference in LVDefs_plat.h to determine the most restrictive alignment. The following example demonstrates the union you might create.

union max_align_t {

   char t0;

   short t1;

   int t2;

   long t3;

   long long t4;

   void* t5;

   float t6;

   double t7;


printf("Alignment = %ul\n", __alignof(union max_align_t));


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