Engineering 101

Software brings compression to smallest embedded computer system

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A new lossless compression algorithm tailored to resource constrained systems, boosting performance of embedded systems, has been announced by SEGGER, with the SMASHv2. The software reportedly allows both compression and decompression on any embedded system, in real time, even with no work RAM available.

In comparison to SMASHv1, SMASHv2 delivers even better compression, easier use (only one parameter for compression) and smaller code.

“More storage, more bandwidth resulting in higher transmission speeds, less cost. This software can make almost every Embedded System even more efficient. Before we developed it, I did not even think it was possible.” said Rainer Herbertz, Senior Software Engineer at SEGGER. “Before emCompress-ToGo, most microcontroller-based applications could not utilize compression because available algorithms required too much memory or computing power. Those days are over.”

emCompress-ToGo has the performance, efficiency and flexibility to be used for various purposes, such as:

  • Storing firmware images or FPGA bitstreams compressed with SMASHv2 to significantly reduce ROM requirements.
  • Allowing wireless updating through compression.
  • Reducing the size of stored data for data loggers, and thus the required bandwidth for transferring the data to the processing servers.
  • Compressing streams of data.

One algorithm fits all: Great compression rates are achieved even on small blocks of data.

The API is very flexible, with compression and decompression directly to and from memory or via application-provided functions. The compressor requires only about one kilobyte of ROM, decompression about half of that. Trial versions for Windows as well as any Cortex-M based target system are available for download.

All code has been developed by and can be licensed from SEGGER. It is not encumbered by any Open Source license.

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