Space-saving algorithm brings compression to even the smallest embedded system

February 06, 2019 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With SMASHv2, Segger Microcontroller GmbH (Monheim, Germany) introduces a new lossless compression algorithm that is tailored to resource-constrained systems. Acording to its inventors, the software dramatically improves the performance of embedded systems.

The software enables real-time compression and decompression on any embedded system, even when no memory is available. Compared to SMASHv1, SMASHv2 offers even better compression, easier operation (only one compression parameter), and smaller code.

"With more memory and higher bandwidth, we've managed to increase transfer speeds and lower costs. This software can make almost any embedded system even more efficient. A year ago I never thought we'd be able to develop such an efficient algorithm," says Rainer Herbertz, Senior Software Engineer at Segger. "Before emCompress-ToGo, most microcontroller-based applications could not use compression because the available algorithms required too much memory or computing power. These days are finally over."

emCompress-ToGo has the power, efficiency, and flexibility to be used for a wide variety of applications, including

  • Storing firmware images or FPGA bitstreams compressed with SMASHv2 to significantly reduce ROM requirements
  • Realize efficient over-the-air firmware updates thanks to compression
  • Reduce the size of stored data for data loggers and thus the bandwidth required to transfer the data to the processing server.
  • Compression of data streams in general

One algorithm for all: High compression rates are achieved even with small data blocks. The API is very flexible - whether with compression and decompression directly to and from memory or via application-specific functions. The compressor only needs about 1 KB ROM, the decompression about half of it. Trial versions for Windows and all Cortex-M-based systems are now available for download.

The entire code was developed by Segger and can be licensed on request. The license models are not restricted by an open source license.

More information: www.segger.com


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