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Vikrant A P
Vikrant A P

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Rust! Why another programming language for Embedded Systems

Greetings, Rustaceans!

Whenever we talk about Embedded Systems, we remember the programming languages associated with embedded systems are C and C++, as they both are low-level languages and faster in execution. But C and C++ are older (in terms of origin, not in terms of usefulness) and there are few chances they shall be upgraded according to the future world requirements as technology is pacing faster forward.

Rust is being developed for the safety and faster execution of the program in diverse domains, whereas embedded devices are also a dynamic domain, so it does require a future-oriented programming language. Let's quickly understand how and why rust can be used for embedded systems along with C and C++.

Why Rust? It provides features mentioned below

  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Productivity

Why Rust for embedded devices?

Statically typed and strongly typed

Embedded devices totally depend on the I/O pins, so it requires dedicated pin configuration so that it won't be used by another part of your application. Rust is statically typed and strongly typed so the guaranteed pin configuration is maintained at the compile time only.

Memory safety and memory management

Rust's important feature is that it is better than other programming languages in most use cases of memory safety. Rust doesn't have garbage memory collection so one can use a global allocator and dynamic data structure, to avoid segmentation faults or core dump issues. Both stack and heap are used independently in Rust.


Thread safety and management is also crucial and important aspect of multi-tasking-based embedded applications. Rust has different concurrency abstractions for various use cases, which provides the ability to maximize performance and minimize errors in a robust way.


Can be interfaced or integrated into existing C or C++ codebase. For this purpose, there are two dedicated modules in the stdlib called std::ffi and std::os::raw. This is possible because the memory layout between Rust and C/C++ is similar enough or the same.


Write once and use it with a variety of systems, as it allows cross-compiling, to build a binary in one architecture and can be used in multiple architectures. Support is being added and upgraded for microcontrollers and microprocessors.

Community is keep growing

As part of the Rust open source project, support for embedded systems is driven by a best-in-class open source community, with support from commercial partners. (Source:

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