C was originally developed at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie between 1972
and 1973 to make utilities running on Unix. Later, it was applied to
re-implementing the kernel of the Unix operating system. During the 1980s,
C gradually gained popularity. It has become one of the most widely used
programming languages, with C compilers from various vendors available
for the majority of existing computer architectures and operating systems.
C has been standardized by the ANSI since 1989 and by the
International Organization for Standardization.
C is an procedural language. It was designed to be compiled
using a relatively straightforward compiler to provide low-level access to
memory and language constructs that map efficiently to machine instructions,
all with minimal runtime support. Despite its low-level capabilities,
the language was designed to encourage cross-platform programming.
A standards-compliant C program written with portability in mind can be
compiled for a wide variety of computer platforms and operating systems
with few changes to its source code. The language is available on various
platforms, from embedded microcontrollers to supercomputers.