32-bit design limitation (0x7ffffffff). Another episode of Y2K. (23-07-2021)

Preface: Because humans have destroyed the environment. Therefore, natural disasters resemble God’s punishment. In the digital world, the situation is the same. The reason for the penalty is the design weakness of the software.

Background: Perhaps the younger generation has not experienced “Y2K” technical problems because they are still children. The millennium bug is about 22 years until today. I think many people have forgotten. The digital world disaster is similar to the Old Testament description of the earth flood, and God instructed to build an ark to save the species.

Fundamental design weakness: On a 32-bit Linux system, the maximum value that time_t can represent is 0x7ffffffff. When time_t takes the maximum value, it means that the system time is 2038-01-19 03:14:07, but when the clock keep going, time_t will overflow and become A negative value. At this time, the system time will start over and the operating system and upper-layer software will run incorrectly.

IoT current status 2021: The trend by today – 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs had been the hardware of choice for IoT devices, but 32-bit MCUs are now becoming increasingly popular, leading to many manufacturers using two different powered processes in devices. Therefore, your RTOS should be scalable in order to manage any future MCU upgrades.

Reports indicate that there will be 35.82 billion IoT devices installed worldwide by 2021 and 75.44 billion by 2025.

Remedy: In order to remedy this technical limitation. Software developer require to use GNU C Library 2.32 and Musl libc 1.2 to build user space for 64-bit time_t.
Musl, a C standard library, is mainly used on operating systems based on the Linux kernel. The target is embedded systems and mobile devices. It is released under the MIT license. The author is Rich Felker. The purpose of developing this library is to write a clean, efficient, and standard-compliant C standard library.

Expectation: We pass a new challenge token to the younger generation, because they have grown up now. It’s your turn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.