[LLVMdev] Removal of IA-64 target

Marcel Moolenaar xcllnt at mac.com
Thu Jul 16 21:49:14 PDT 2009

On Jul 16, 2009, at 5:51 PM, Chris Lattner wrote:

> On Jul 16, 2009, at 2:30 PM, Marcel Moolenaar wrote:
>> BTW: I don't run Linux at all, so no Linux/ia64 support.
>> I can see how that could be a problem for people.
>> Anyway: my case is a weak one and I would understand if the
>> target get axed without considering my email/request...
> Hi Marcel,
> There are two levels of problems with the IA64 backend.  On the first
> level, it has not been maintained for a long time, and isn't able to
> compile hello world to a working app.  This is a pretty bad state.  On
> the second level, it will take a significant amount of work to make it
> produce code that is actually *fast* for itanium, because of the
> advanced architectural features of the chip.


> For us to keep IA64 around (and for it to be minimally useful for your
> work!), I think that the backend should pass most of the simple
> programs in MultiSource/Benchmarks for example.  It does *not* need to
> produce amazingly fast code, but the code needs to work.  I don't know
> how much performance on IA64 is important to you guys, if GCC is
> currently acceptable, then probably don't have that high of a
> performance bar.

GCC is the best we can do right now for FreeBSD/ia64. That's why LLVM
is of interest. At least to me :-)

However, I do not want to go anywhere near trying to achieve optimal
code generation right now. Getting functional completeness is as high
as I dare to shoot. I presume that it'll be daunting enough.

> Another question is: who is really interested in FreeBSD/ia64?  Is HP
> (for example) contributing to this work?  If so, perhaps you could
> find help in one of the itanium-friendly companies.

My Montecito machine was donated to me by a German company, but other
than that, it's just me working on an architecture I've grown fond off.

As for help: I don't think there's any interest among Itanium-friendly
companies, unless there's a company that has a vested interest in LLVM.
HP and Intel have their own compilers and if they work on some open
source compiler, it's either GCC or ORC/Open64 AFAICT.

I actually expect more help from LLVM-friendly companies -- if only
with suggestions, feedback and review comments :-)

Marcel Moolenaar
xcllnt at mac.com

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