Memory optimizations for LLVM JIT


I’m new to LLVM and I’ve got some problems with LLVM JIT.
I have set ExecutionEngine as CodeGenOpt::Aggressive and PassManagerBuilder.OptLevel as 3. (mem2reg and GVN are included)
However, the machine code generated by JIT is not as good as that generated by clang or llc.

Here is an example:

I would not expect a JIT to produce as good of code as a static compiler. A JIT is supposed to run relatively fast, whereas a static compiler may take a lot longer.


I actually would expect the LLVM JIT engine to generate the same code if you have everything prepped the same and use the same code generation options. If you use MCJIT, in fact, it uses exactly the same code generation mechanism.

Have you tried using MCJIT?

Also, have you compared the IR being passed into the JIT to that being used in the clang and llc cases? If the IR is the same, I would expect the generated code to be the same, unless there’s some additional optimization that isn’t being turned on in the JIT case.


A GlobalValue was declared and mapped to the variable p.
Some LLVM IR instructions were created according to those generated by LLVM from source.
I.e., load p, load a[1] based on p, load p again, store a[2] based on p, etc.
The machine code turned out to be slightly optmized, as shown on the left.

I suspect this is due to possible aliasing. If p somehow pointed to itself then the store p->a might change the value of of p so p must be reloaded each time. Clang will emit TBAA metadata nodes ( that let the optimizers know the load of p can’t alias the stores through p since they are have different high-level types. Without the TBAA metadata the optimizers must be conservative.

Things were getting better after the GlobalVariable of p was set as a constant.
Redundant Loads of p (line 5, 8 and 11) were removed, and so was line 12 because of line 10.

This makes sense - if p is constant no store can possibly change the value of p so it doesn’t need to be reloaded.

However, I could not make it better any more, although optimal machine code just need those marked with ‘*’.

This is strange, I’m not what sure what is going on here - assuming you are running the same passes I’d expect no difference here.

Thank you very much for your explanations and suggestions.
I’m sorry that I have provided some wrong information last time: llc is (probably?) not able to optimize such code either.

I tried something more according to the suggestions. Here are the results: (using the same core code shown in the last email)

  1. compile to object file (clang -O3 -c test.c) : good code quality
  2. compile to bitcode file (clang -O3 -c test.c -emit-llvm) : good
  3. compile to bitcode file (clang -O0 -c test.c -emit-llvm) : bad, similar IR as I wrote manually
  4. opt test.bc file in step 3 (opt -O3 test.bc) : bad
  5. compile to assembly, from test.bc in step 3 (llc -O3 test.bc) : bad
  6. IR creation source, from test.bc in step 3 (llc -O3 -march=cpp test.bc) : bad, similar IR as I wrote manually
  7. JIT or MCJIT the source in step 6 (modify and call jit/mcjit) : bad

In short, once the source is converted to bad bitcode (or equivalent IR creation), I cannot optimize it back to the -O3 quality.
What can be the reason? Did the bitcode file lose some high level information, so that certain optimizations are limited?
If so, is it possible to reconstruct some naive metadata to enable such optimization? (just for this piece of code, as it is the most important scenario in my project)

Any help will/would be appreciated.

The source of test.c