Adding/Removing Floating Point Format for S08 Projects

Usually I do *not* use floating point numbers in my projects. For this, I select ‘None’ during the project creation in CodeWarrior for MCU:

No Floating Point Selected

No Floating Point Selected

But what if I need to change my mind later? How to change such a ‘no-floating-point-needed’ project to one with floating point format support?

No Floating Point, that’s the default

Clearly, in my view, using floating point numbers in many projects is a bad thing, similar like using printf(). Because it adds a huge overhead and performance penalty especially to small microprocessors like the Freescale HCS08. And because in many cases using floating point numbers is not really needed.

No Floats needed?

I have seen to many cases where projects where using floating point number say to represent a temperature. Say to display temperature values like 37.5°. That looks like a good reason for using floating point numbers? Nope. I better use ‘centiGrades’, and instead of using

float temperature; /* e.g. 37.51 degree celcsius */

it is better to use ‘centigrades’:

uint16_t temperature; /* in centigrades, so 3751 is 37.51 degree celcsius */

Way better and more efficient. If I have plenty of RAM and ROM available with a powerful processor, why not. Otherwise: I keep things simple.

Changing my mind?

But if there is a real good case indeed to use a floating point number representation, then it is not that hard to change an existing project for the S08 to use floating point numbers. There are the following things which make the difference:

  1. ‘No-Float’ projects have the __NO_FLOAT__ compiler define set
  2. There are different libraries depending on the ‘float’ or ‘no-float’ settings
  3. Compiler switches for ‘float’ format

Knowing the mechanics allow me to change a project from ‘no-float’ to ‘use floating point’ and back again, without the need to create a new project.

__NO_FLOAT__ Macro

‘No-Floating-Point’ project have the ‘__NO_FLOAT__’ preprocessor macro set:

__NO_FLOAT__ Macro

__NO_FLOAT__ Macro

So depending if I want floating point or not, I need to add or remove that macro.


The library itself needs to support floating point (or only integral types). Which library is used, this is set in the Linker Input settings of the project:

Linker Libraries Setting

Linker Libraries Setting

In the above example I’m using a library without floating point support, marked with the ‘i’ (for integral types only) at the end of the name. The readme.txt inside the MCU\lib\hc08c folder lists all the different libraries with the compiler options used:

Project Name                            Memory Model        Library      Compiler Options
c_ieee_32_32                            small                  ansif.lib    -W2 -Os -Ms -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
c_ieee_32_64                            small                  ansi.lib     -W2 -Os -Ms                 -F2 -NoPath
c_no_float                              only small             ansii.lib    -W2 -Os -Ms -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
c++_ieee_32_32                          small                  cppf.lib     -W2 -Os -Ms -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
c++_ieee_32_64                          small                  cpp.lib      -W2 -Os -Ms                 -F2 -NoPath
c++_no_float                            only small             cppi.lib     -W2 -Os -Ms -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
c_tiny_ieee_32_32                       tiny                   ansitf.lib   -W2 -Os -Mt -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
c_tiny_ieee_32_64                       tiny                   ansit.lib    -W2 -Os -Mt                 -F2 -NoPath
c_tiny_no_float                         tiny                   ansiti.lib   -W2 -Os -Mt -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
c++_tiny_ieee_32_32                     tiny                   cpptf.lib    -W2 -Os -Mt -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
c++_tiny_ieee_32_64                     tiny                   cppt.lib     -W2 -Os -Mt                 -F2 -NoPath
c++_tiny_no_float                       tiny                   cppti.lib    -W2 -Os -Mt -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath

hcs08_c_ieee_32_32                      small HCS08            ansifs.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_ieee_32_64                      small HCS08            ansis.lib    -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_no_float                        only small HCS08       ansiis.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_ieee_32_32                    small HCS08            cppfs.lib    -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_ieee_32_64                    small HCS08            cpps.lib     -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_no_float                      only small HCS08       cppis.lib    -W2 -Os -cs08 -Ms -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_tiny_ieee_32_32                 tiny  HCS08            ansitfs.lib  -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt -Fd               -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_tiny_ieee_32_64                 tiny  HCS08            ansits.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_tiny_no_float                   only tiny  HCS08       ansitis.lib  -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_tiny_ieee_32_32               tiny  HCS08            cpptfs.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_tiny_ieee_32_64               tiny  HCS08            cppts.lib    -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_tiny_no_float only            tiny  HCS08            cpptis.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -Mt -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath

hcs08_c_banked_ieee_32_32 banked        HCS08 with MMU      ansibfm.lib  -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_banked_ieee_32_64 banked        HCS08 with MMU      ansibm.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c_banked_no_float only banked     HCS08 with MMU      ansibim.lib  -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_banked_ieee_32_32 banked      HCS08 with MMU      cppbfm.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb -Fd             -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_banked_ieee_32_64 banked      HCS08 with MMU      cppbm.lib    -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb                 -F2 -NoPath
hcs08_c++_banked_no_float only banked   HCS08 with MMU      cppbim.lib   -W2 -Os -cs08 -MMU -Mb -D__NO_FLOAT__  -F2 -NoPath

Options used:
-W2:     Suppress warning and information messages
-Os:     Optimize for code size
-cs08:   Generate code for HCS08
-MMU:    Enable MMU support
-Ms:     Small memory model
-Mt:     tiny memory model
-Mb:     Banked memory model
-Fd:     Float and double is IEEE32. The -T option -TD2LD2LLD2 is equivalent to -Fd.
-F2:     ELF/DWARF 2.0 
-NoPath: Do not write path information into object files
(for more details, see the provided online documentation)

So for my above case I could use ‘ansi.lib’ (float are 32bit, double are 64bit) or ‘ansif.lib’ (where both float and double are 32bit).

💡 If I’m not 100% sure, then I simply create a new ‘dummy’ project with the wizard and inspect which libraries it is using.

Floating Point Format Compiler Options

The last thing to consider is the format of ‘double’: the compiler/library supports a model where doubles have only 32bits. So if I decide to use such a format, I need to make sure that the correct library is linked (see previous section). Additionally I need to check that the compiler option for the floating point format is set correctly. I find this option in the compiler settings under ‘Code Generation’:

Floating Point Compiler Option

Floating Point Compiler Option


I rarely need floating point numbers, as most problems I have simply do not need it. And adding unnecessarily floating point support (and using it) to a project is not a good thing anyway. But if I change my mind, and I really need it, can change my projects easily with the knowledge from above.

💡 The above points apply for S12 projects as well 🙂

Happy Floating 🙂

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