Address Spaces for local memories


I’m developing a C compiler for a machine with different local memories, for which I need to be able to specify in which specific memory a global variable should be allocated, and I also need to generate different instructions for accessing different local memories.

I’ve seen in the LLVM 2.2 release notes that there is now support for multiple address spaces, that seem to address my problem, but I couldn’t understand how to use them.

Should I indeed use address spaces for my local memories requirements?
If yes, can someone tell me how to specify address spaces in C for global variables?
Is it possible to specify that a given pointer (e.g. a function argument or local pointer variable) points to a specific address space and how?
How do I then retrieve the address space information in the LLVM IR, in particular when using pointers?


– Giuma Cordes


For LLVM IR syntax see the Language reference manual:

The target-specific C front-end is responsible for generating the correct LLVM IR with address space information in it, and there is a proposed extension to C (Embedded C extensions, search for that on the list archives and you should get some useful threads) which those front ends can use.

Some GCC targets support this, however llvm-gcc currently doesn’t support those targets. The machinery to hook this up in llvm-gcc may be there, simply waiting to be hooked up for your target. Another option may be clang, the C-languages front end which is part of the LLVM project. Clang currently has support for the Embedded C address-spaces extension, but is not nearly as mature as llvm-gcc.

Contributions towards using and testing address spaces is very welcome!

Hope that gives you some places to start digging.