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Title: Protothreads  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Contiki, Microthread, Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Thread (computing), List of programmers
Collection: Threads (Computing)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A protothread is a low-overhead mechanism for concurrent programming.

Protothreads function as stackless, lightweight threads providing a blocking context cheaply using minimal memory per protothread (on the order of single bytes).

Protothreads are non-preemptable. Therefore, a context switch can only take place on blocking operations. Protothreads are also stackless, which means global variables are needed for preserving variables across context switches.[1]

The protothread concept was developed by Adam Dunkels and Oliver Schmidt.[2]

More true name - Auto-State pseudo-Threads.

See also


  1. ^ A. Dunkels, O. Schmidt, T. Voigt, and M. Ali, Protothreads: Simplifying Event-Driven Programming of Memory-Constrained Embedded Systems, Proc. ACM SenSys, Boulder, CO, USA, Nov 2006. (PDF, Presentation slides)
  2. ^ Adam Dunkels' website

External links

  • Protothread library in C used by Contiki
  • Using Protothreads for Sensor Node Programming A PDF with some in-depth discussion about the use of Protothreads
  • Protothread library requiring GCC, includes a thread scheduler modeled on the UNIX kernel (a simplified form of POSIX condition variables). This source base also includes a version that supports multiple CPU cores (processors).
  • performed a comparison of protothreads against POSIX threads, and found a 400x improvement in speed [1] Retrieved from Oct 2014
  • C++ Protothread
  • Symbian C++ Protothread Implementation

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