OpenMP on C6000

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As of April 2016, this article is out of date. Please visit here.

This page is intended to be the starting point for all information about OpenMP on C6000. However, at this writing, that is not the case. The information in this article is correct if you are using C667x devices which only contain C66x CorePac DSPs, and not any ARM cores. If you are using a 66AK2H device, then please see MCSDK HPC 3.x OpenMP. OpenMP is not supported on any other C6000 devices.

Still here? After reading this article, you will be able to execute your own OpenMP code on C6000 under control of Code Composer Studio.


  • You are experienced at programming OpenMP applications on hosted systems like Windows or Linux PC's.
  • You have never programmed anything on an embedded system like those that use C6000 devices.
  • You have never used any TI development tools such as Code Composer Studio (CCS).

Acronyms Used in This Article

  • CCS - Code Composer Studio. Software development environment for creating code to execute on TI devices.
  • SYS/BIOS - Or BIOS for short. Scalable real-time kernel which runs on the DSP.
  • MCSDK - Multicore Software Development Kit. Bundles all the software supplied by TI which runs on the DSP.

Conceptual Overview

This section discusses, at a high level, how different pieces of software from TI work together to form the OpenMP solution.

The OpenMP source code, at the level of OpenMP pragmas and function calls, is the same. Your code must be organized into a project, as that term is defined by CCS. A central element of this project is the SYS/BIOS configuration. SYS/BIOS (or BIOS for short) is a scalable real-time kernel produced by TI. BIOS implements the multi-threading features of OpenMP. An initial BIOS configuration (*.cfg) is supplied. Changing this BIOS configuration may never be required. The build is done within CCS. At the start, system execution is also done within CCS. Besides BIOS, many other software components execute on the DSP to comprise the OpenMP solution. All of these components are delivered together under the name Multicore Software Development Kit (MCSDK).


Getting the MCSDK installed calls for you to install and configure everything else, so this section focuses on the MCSDK.

Start with the general download page for all flavors of the MCSDK. Follow the link for SYS/BIOS MCSDK for C66x. Get MCSDK version 2.1 or later. That page includes a link to a Getting Started Guide. That is where you will find directions on hardware setup, installing CCS, and so on. Follow all the steps in the Getting Started Guide, up to Running the Demonstration Application. (Actually, go ahead and run the Demo if you want. But it isn't required.)

Confidence Test

If you are familiar with CCS, you may skip over this section. But, installing and configuring all that software may leave you wondering if you did it all correctly. In this section, simplify things by pretending your system only has one core. This allows you to check whether you have installed most of the software correctly, while ignoring many of the complicated details.

Please check out this set of Getting Started Guides just for CCS. You only need to go through one of them. Choose the one that seems best for you. These guides provide a gentle introduction to those who are new to CCS.

When you load and run your first program, CCS needs to know which core to run it on. You see a dialog box similar this one:

Select CPU core 0

Check the box only for core 0.

First OpenMP Project

This section walks through a simple hello world example project. Four threads run concurrently. Each thread prints hello world and the thread ID.

Version and HW Information

This section was developed with CCS version, MCSDK version, and executed on an C6678 EVM. If your environment differs, you may have to make a few adjustments.

Project Setup

In this section you create a new CCS project. This project is not written from scratch, but uses example source files that come with CCS.

Put CCS in the Edit Perspective. Select: Window | Open Perspective | Other | CCS Edit. To start this new project select: Project | New CCS Project. Enter a Project Name. For Family select C6000. For Variant, ignore the first drop-down box, and in the second choose Generic C66xx Device. In the box just under Project templates and examples type in hello. Under OMP Examples you will see some Hello world example projects. Select the best one for your HW platform. In this screen shot, the selection is for C6678. Select Next.

Hello world Project Setup

The next dialog shows the RTSC Configuration Settings. If only one version of the MCSDK is installed, then nothing more is required. If more than one version of the MCSDK is installed, review the version numbers of the selected packages and insure they are from the desired MCSDK. Do not forget the drop-down box at the top for the version of the XDCtools.

Click Finish. CCS creates the project, complete with source code, and adds an entry to the Project Explorer window.

Project Modifications

One modification to the example project is required.

In the Project Explorer window, expand the set of files available under the new project. Open the file omp_config.cfg by double-clicking on it. The edit window has two tabs on the bottom left. Select the Source tab. Find the source line which begins var OpenMP ... Change the code as follows ...

var OpenMP = xdc.useModule('ti.omp.utils.OpenMP');    // no change
OpenMP.setNumProcessors(4);                           // no change
OpenMP.autoDnldCore = false;                          // add this line

The new line disables the feature called auto-download. A side effect of auto-download is that printf works only on core 0.

Save the change to the configuration file by entering control+S or selecting File | Save.

Build and Load

The target configuration that should launch when this OpenMP project is debugged is the same one used for previous single core projects. To check on this detail, choose View | Target Configurations. Find that target configuration and insure it is the default.

In the Project Explorer window, insure the new project is selected.

Select the Debug icon.

Debug icon

Next a dialog will come up which asks which CPU cores to load the program on. Select cores 0-3, then click OK. It will appear similar to this ...

Select cores 0-3

The following actions take place automatically:

  • CCS changes to the Debug perspective
  • The project is built
  • The target configuration is launched
  • The target connection is made
  • The program is loaded on cores 0-3
  • The system begins execution and runs to the start of main on core 0

Execute and See Output

Now you are ready to execute. In the Debug window, click the Resume execution icon.

Resume execution

The console window will show output similar to, but not exactly the same as, the following ...

[C66xx_0] Hello World from thread = 0
[C66xx_0] Number of threads = 4
[C66xx_1] Hello World from thread = 1
[C66xx_2] Hello World from thread = 2
[C66xx_3] Hello World from thread = 3

Because the threads are executing on the cores concurrently, there is no control over the order in which the output appears. But you should see all of these lines.

Tips on System Startup

If things do not go smoothly, please see the article SystemAnalyzerTutorial7. That article is about running a tutorial for a tool named Unified Instrumentation Architecture (UIA). UIA is for analyzing system performance and behavior. This tutorial contains several tips on how to use CCS to run OpenMP programs. It is relevant to the versions of the MCSDK components listed near the beginning.

Second OpenMP Project

Now try another project like hello world, but a bit more complicated. It will serve as the basis for your future OpenMP projects.

Project Setup

Start it the same way as the hello world project. But give it a different name, look for matrix among the examples, and choose the OpenMP matrix vector multiplication example for your system.

Matrix vector multiply Project Setup

Build and Execute

All the remaining steps are the same as with the hello world project.

Upon executing, output in the console window should appear similar to ...

[C66xx_0] Starting values of matrix A and vector b:
[C66xx_0]   A[0]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[0]= 1.0
[C66xx_0]   A[1]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[1]= 2.0
[C66xx_0]   A[2]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[2]= 3.0
[C66xx_0]   A[3]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[3]= 4.0
[C66xx_0]   A[4]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[4]= 5.0
[C66xx_0]   A[5]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[5]= 6.0
[C66xx_0]   A[6]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[6]= 7.0
[C66xx_0]   A[7]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[7]= 8.0
[C66xx_0]   A[8]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[8]= 9.0
[C66xx_0]   A[9]= 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0   b[9]= 10.0
[C66xx_0] Results by thread/row:
[C66xx_0]   thread 0 did row 0	 c[0]=55.00	Running total= 55.00
[C66xx_3]   thread 3 did row 9	 c[9]=550.00	Running total= 605.00
[C66xx_1]   thread 1 did row 3	 c[3]=220.00	Running total= 825.00
[C66xx_0]   thread 0 did row 1	 c[1]=110.00	Running total= 935.00
[C66xx_1]   thread 1 did row 4	 c[4]=275.00	Running total= 1210.00
[C66xx_2]   thread 2 did row 6	 c[6]=385.00	Running total= 1595.00
[C66xx_0]   thread 0 did row 2	 c[2]=165.00	Running total= 1760.00
[C66xx_1]   thread 1 did row 5	 c[5]=330.00	Running total= 2090.00
[C66xx_2]   thread 2 did row 7	 c[7]=440.00	Running total= 2530.00
[C66xx_2]   thread 2 did row 8	 c[8]=495.00	Running total= 3025.00
[C66xx_0] Matrix-vector total - sum of all c[] = 3025.00

The parts before and after Results by thread/row should match, particularly the final result of 3025.00. The thread N lines will vary, but there should be one line for each row 0-9.

Start Your OpenMP Project

Build your OpenMP project out of the matrix multiply project. In the Project Explorer window, select the matrix multiply project, right-click and choose Copy. Right-click again and choose Paste. Give the new project a name. It starts as a copy of the matrix multiply project in every respect, except the name. Remove files, add files, and make the project your own. Modifications to the omp_config.cfg file are not required for base functionality.

Debugging Tips

Suppose you want to immediately execute one of those example projects again. You need to reset the CPU cores, reload the program, and run again. Here is a good way to do that.

In the Debug window, select cores 0-3, right-click and choose Group Core(s).

Group Cores 0-3

Now reset the cores in the newly formed group. Select the group and click the CPU Reset icon near the top right of the Debug window.

CPU Reset icon

Then reload the program with the menu selection Run | Load | Reload Program. Now you are ready to resume execution as before. Compare with the output you got last time, and see how some lines are in a different order.

How to Obtain Support

Post your questions and suspected bugs to the compiler forum with the tag openmp. Please use the tag. Use of the tag triggers an e-mail to the current support team. Without the tag, the issue may go unnoticed for some time.