Pipeline Descriptions for Retargetable Compilers: A Decoupled Approach

Author:Milner, Christopher, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

A good optimizing compiler must have detailed information about the target processor's execution pipeline in order to generate and schedule code with high levels of instruction-level parallelism. Current state-of-the-art pipeline descriptions are tediously constructed on an instruction-by-instruction basis. These descriptions often fail to capture important instruction scheduling constraints so artificial resources are introduced to enforce these constraints. The result is a pipeline description that is difficult to maintain and reuse; retargeting the compiler means retargeting each instruction and rethinking the purpose of each artificial resource. To address the above problems, the proposed research will develop a new, powerful approach for describing modern instruction pipelines by separating the pipeline description from the instruction set description. The proposed approach uses a graphical description of the pipeline and an accompanying annotation language to describe the relevant behavior of the machine's execution pipeline. Using the descriptions of the pipeline and an existing description technique for instruction sets, it will be possible to generate instruction scheduler information automatically. Furthermore, this decoupling of the pipeline description from the instruction set description eases the burden of retargeting the compiler as new instruction set extensions and new pipeline implementations appear.

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Source Citation:

Milner, Christopher. "Pipeline Descriptions for Retargetable Compilers: A Decoupled Approach." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (1999).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
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