To unify the research and development among the COMPARE partners, the COSY (COmpilation SYstem) conceptual compiler model is proposed.
COMPARE aims to produce a complete compilation system based on the COSY model. Through an emphasis on compiler generation tools, this system is intended to be applicable to new processor and architecture designs as they become available, and to be adaptable to new compiler technology as it is developed.
Compilers for modern, high performance architectures are still mainly handcrafted, without the benefit of well specified theory and technology. It is not yet known how best to compile to architectures such as VLIW and distributed systems or the more ambitious highly parallel architectures. Even for architectures which are relatively well understood, such as reduced instruction set computers (RISC) and vector machines, compilers are still built by hand at high cost.
The project proposed to extend the basic compilation technology for those architectures that are not yet well understood, and to extend the technology in compiler generation tools for those architectures that are better understood.
A new compiler construction technology has been developed resulting in the ACE EXPERT compilers for the SPARC architecture. These compilers combine the industry proven EXPERT frontends for ANSI-C, K&R-C, Fortran 77, Pascal and Modula-2, with a fully computer generated SPARC code generator. The EXPERT SPARC code generator has been generated automatically from a concise architecture description. With this generator technology, code generators for today's increasingly parallel architectures can be produced more efficiently. The compilers have undergone extensive field testing and the robustness resulting from the use of generators was proven using large industrial programs. Program modules written in different languages can be mixed by simply linking them together.
COMPARE will produce a compiler construction system that allows the efficient production of competitive commercial compiler products. This system is intended to be incorporated in products in order to keep Europe at the leading edge in the areas of formal language and compiler research.
Based on the results of the prototyping effort CLaX (Compare Language Example), the design of the COSY model has been completed. Implementation of the model is in full progress and the associated tools are stabilising.
The first full-fledged compilers, integrated in COSY, will be demonstrated at the beginning of the last year of the project. This last year will concentrate on the exploitation of the optimisation potential enabled by the COSY model.
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