Chris Lattner wrote:
As others have mentioned, hacking the front-end isn't that hard. In any case though, please be aware that a precompiled binary for a non- MIPS target won't produce correct code if you are (for example) using an x86 front-end and forcing llc to generate mips code with llc - march=mips. The front-end does type layout and knows very ABI things that have to be right for mips.
Thanks for your reply Chris.
I would still like to use the 'standard' precompiled binary for llvm-gcc front end unless its really impossible. Actually I thought that the whole idea of LLVM was to have an abstract middle level so that front end does not have to know 'very ABI things' . To make things clear, I am using the frontend only with -emit-llvm flag, and then run my llc, but I guess this is obvious, so I was wondering if you can expound on what kind of problems I may encounter.
Actually, the strategy of using only the precompiled binary front end worked for us satisfactorily in our previous processor iteration, a very non-standard stack machine architecture so I doubt we would have an insurmountable problem doing the same now, with the new little endian MIPS like architecture.
To put things in perspective: we only require a subset of "C" to be supported by the compiler. Our processor is in fact a low level DSP like sub-processor in the whole chip, which runs relatively small and simple programs (it has only 16K program memory after all), and all the existing code base is currently written by us in that subset. If unions/bitfields would not work , or passing structs by value, then fine, we'd have no problem officially not supporting this features. MIPS calling convention ABI, is also not relevant for us. We may use it if it works fine, but if not we might ditch it altogether for a simpler calling convention, and might even decide not to support a stack at all (Our current "C" subset does not allow recursion).
Anyways, as I noticed the MIPS backend, is not really finished and have some bugs still (I reported some to Bruno), but it is much easier work to have that "almost working" code as a starting point, than having to write our backend from scratch ...