9.2 __align

The __align keyword instructs the compiler to align a variable on an n-byte boundary.

__align is a storage class modifier. It does not affect the type of the function.


is the alignment boundary.
For local variables, n can take the values 1, 2, 4, or 8.
For global variables, n can take any value up to 0x80000000 in powers of 2.


__align(n) is useful when the normal alignment of the variable being declared is less than n. Eight-byte alignment can give a significant performance advantage with VFP instructions.
__align can be used in conjunction with extern and static.


Because __align is a storage class modifier, it cannot be used on:
  • Types, including typedefs and structure definitions.
  • Function parameters.
You can only overalign. That is, you can make a two-byte object four-byte aligned but you cannot align a four-byte object at 2 bytes.


__align(8) char buffer[128];  // buffer starts on eight-byte boundary
void foo(void)
    __align(16) int i; // this alignment value is not permitted for
                       // a local variable
__align(16) int i; // permitted as a global variable.
Related reference
9.61 __attribute__((aligned)) variable attribute
7.112 --min_array_alignment=opt
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