Choosing an Integer Data Type

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The char type is not the most efficiently accessed integer type when using MPLAB® XC16 or XC32 and yet it is for XC8. How can you write a portable code that is efficient for all device targets? Easy: use the fastest, minimum-width integer types provided by <stdint.h> and don’t make assumptions about which type will produce the smallest or fastest code.

For example, if you need a variable that can hold an 8-bit quantity, make it either of the int_fast8_t or uint_fast8_t types. If you need a variable that can hold a 16-bit quantity, use either of the int_fast16_t or uint_fast16_t types, etc. The compiler will define these types appropriately and ensure that your code is compact and runs as fast as possible, regardless of which device you are targeting.

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