There are two calling conventions used in cc65:
cdecl- passes all parameters on the C-stack.
fastcall- passes the rightmost parameter in registers
A/X/sregand all others on the C-stack.
The default convention is
fastcall, but this can be changed with
--all-cdecl command line option. If a convention is specified in
the function's declaration, that convention will be used instead.
Variadic functions will always use
--standard command line option is used,
fastcall keywords will not be available.
The standard compliant variations
__fastcall__ are always available.
If a function has a prototype, parameters are pushed to the C-stack as their respective types
char parameter will push 1 byte), but if a function has no prototype, default
promotions will apply. This means that with no prototype,
char will be promoted
int and be pushed as 2 bytes. "K & R"-style forward declarations may be used,
but they will function the same as if no prototype was used.
If the function is declared as fastcall, the rightmost argument will be loaded into
A- 8-bit parameter, or low byte of larger types
X- 16-bit high byte, or second byte of 32-bits
sreg- Zeropage pseudo-register including high 2 bytes of 32-bit parameter
All other parameters will be pushed to the C-stack from left to right. The rightmost parameter will have the lowest address on the stack, and multi-byte parameters will have their least significant byte at the lower address.
sp pseudo-register is a zeropage pointer to the base of the C-stack.
If the function is variadic, the
Y register will contain the number of
bytes pushed to the stack for this function.
// C prototype void cdecl foo(unsigned bar, unsigned char baz); ; C-stack layout within the function: ; ; +------------------+ ; | High byte of bar | ; Offset 2 ->+------------------+ ; | Low byte of bar | ; Offset 1 ->+------------------+ ; | baz | ; Offset 0 ->+------------------+ ; Example code for accessing bar. The variable is in A/X after this code snippet: ; ldy #2 ; Offset of high byte of bar lda (sp),y ; High byte now in A tax ; High byte now in X dey ; Offset of low byte of bar lda (sp),y ; Low byte now in A
If the function has a return value, it will appear in the
Functions with an 8-bit return value (
unsigned char) are expected
to promote this value to a 16-bit integer on return, and store the high byte in
The compiler will depend on the promoted value in some cases (e.g. implicit conversion to
and failure to return the high byte in
X will cause unexpected errors.
This problem does not apply to the
sreg pseudo-register, which is only
used if the return type is 32-bit.
If the function has a void return type, the compiler will not depend on the result
A/X/sreg, so these may be clobbered by the function.
The C-stack pointer
sp must be restored by the function to its value before the
function call prologue. It may pop all of its parameters from the C-stack
(e.g. using the
or it could adjust
If the function is variadic, the
Y register contains the number of bytes
pushed to the stack on entry, which may be added to
sp to restore its
The internal pseudo-register
regbank must not be changed by the function.
Y register may be clobbered by the function.
The compiler will not depend on its state after a function call.
A/X/sreg registers may be clobbered if any of them
are not used by the return value (see above).
Many of the internal pseudo-registers used by cc65 are available for free use by any function called by C, and do not need to be preserved. Note that if another C function is called from your assembly function, it may clobber any of these itself:
tmp1 .. tmp4
ptr1 .. ptr4
sreg(if unused by return)