[llvm-dev] [Machine IR] Analyzing Assembly Source Code in MIR passes

Lele Ma via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 25 14:24:00 PST 2019

Thank you for the instructions, Aaron and Nicolai!

Raising a binary to LLVM IR, or raising to MIR is a reasonable solution for
me. However, given Nicolai's information that not all target-specific
instructions are representable in MIR, I got two questions that need your

1. Why MIR does not necessarily represent all target specific instructions
for certain hardware? If someone added those support, will this violate
some design principles of MIR?

2. Instead of IR/MIR raising, I am wondering whether a third path is
possible to solve the problem of analyzing assembly code:
*    - write simple LLVM pass in the `MC` layer to process information not
available in MIR/IR and *
*    - passing analysis result from IR/MIR pass to the MC layer pass where
we can enhance the result with missing representations.*
So the second question is whether it is possible to write passes directly
in the MC layer? If so, is there any documentation or example for that?

Thank you in advance!

Best Regards,

On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 9:15 AM Aaron Smith <aaron.lee.smith at gmail.com>

> Llvm-mctoll will raise a binary back to LLVM IR.
> Not exactly what you want but it might be something you can leverage.
> https://github.com/microsoft/llvm-mctoll
> On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 1:19 PM Nicolai Hähnle via llvm-dev <
> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 3:37 AM Lele Ma via llvm-dev
>> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> > My goal is to write LLVM Machine IR (MIR) passes to analyze the
>> assembly source code. But it seems I need to find a way to translate the
>> handwritten assembly code into MIR format first.
>> >
>> > Is there any materials, or any modules in LLVM source code, that can
>> help to translate assembly code into LLVM MIR for analysis?
>> >
>> > Or is there any easier ways to analyze assembly code in MIR passes
>> without translating it?
>> MachineIR is designed for code generation, not for general assembly
>> representation. MIR is even not necessarily able to represent all
>> assembly instructions that a target's hardware supports. The
>> disassembler produces MCInsts, and if you wanted to go from there back
>> to MachineIR, you'd have to write your own target-specific code to do
>> so.
>> Cheers,
>> Nicolai
>> >
>> > Best Regards,
>> > Lele Ma
>> >
>> >
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