9.1 About the Base Platform Application Binary Interface (BPABI)

The Base Platform Application Binary Interface (BPABI) is a meta-standard for third parties to generate their own platform-specific image formats.

Many embedded systems use an operating system (OS) to manage the resources on a device. In many cases this is a large, single executable with a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) that tightly integrates with the applications.

To run an application or use a shared library on a platform OS, you must conform to the Application Binary Interface (ABI) for the platform and also the ABI for the Arm® architecture. This can involve substantial changes to the linker output, for example, a custom file format. To support such a wide variety of platforms, the ABI for the Arm architecture provides the BPABI.

The BPABI provides a base standard from which a platform ABI can be derived. The linker produces a BPABI conforming ELF image or shared library. A platform specific tool called a post-linker translates this ELF output file into a platform-specific file format. Post linker tools are provided by the platform OS vendor. The following figure shows the BPABI tool flow.

Figure 9-1 BPABI tool flow
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