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It also eliminates a whole lot of uncertainty in the timing.

If you're running in an automotive environment, you're probably real time; that is, you have to finish your processing before, for example, the next cylinder comes into firing position. You have to hit that, for every cylinder of every rotation of the engine, for any rotation rate that the engine is capable of reaching. You can't be late even once.

Now in the processing you have a malloc call. How long will the call take? Depends on the state of the heap. And what is that state? Depends on the exact sequence of other calls to the heap since boot time. That's really hard to analyze.

Yes, you can get a memory allocator that has a bounded-worst-case response time, but you also need one that absolutely guaranteed always returns you a valid block. And the same on calls to free: there must be a guaranteed hard upper bound on how long it takes, and it must always leave the heap in a state where future allocations are guaranteed to work and guaranteed to have bounded time.

And, after all of that, you still have a bunch of embedded engineers scratching their heads, and asking "explain to me again how allocating memory at all is making my life easier?"

So embedded systems that care about meeting their timings often allocate the buffers they need at startup, and never after startup. Instead, the just re-use their buffers.






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