The CrossWorks libraries support multithreading, for example, where you are using CTL or a third-party real-time operating system (RTOS).

Where you have single-threaded processes, there is a single flow of control. However, in multithreaded applications there may be several flows of control which access the same functions, or the same resources, concurrently. To protect the integrity of resources, any code you write for multithreaded applications must be reentrant and thread-safe.

Reentrancy and thread safety are both related to the way functions in a multithreaded application handle resources.

Reentrant functions

A reentrant function does not hold static data over successive calls and does not return a pointer to static data. For this type of function, the caller provides all the data that the function requires, such as pointers to any workspace. This means that multiple concurrent calls to the function do not interfere with each other, that the function can be called in mainline code, and that the function can be called from an interrupt service routine.

Thread-safe functions

A thread-safe function protects shared resources from concurrent access using locks. In C, local variables are held in processor registers or are on the stack. Any function that does not use static data, or other shared resources, is thread-safe. In general, thread-safe functions are safe to call from any thread but cannot be called directly, or indirectly, from an interrupt service routine.