Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Sep 2007 21:26 UTC, submitted by Chris Lattner
General Development The LLVM Project recently released a new version of their compiler, optimizer and code generators. LLVM includes a drop-in GCC-compatible C/C++ and ObjC compiler, mature optimization technology (including cross file/whole program optimization), and a highly optimizing code generator. For people who enjoy hacking on compilers and runtimes, LLVM provides libraries for implementing custom optimizers and code generators including JIT compiler support. This release is the first to provide beta GCC 4.2 compatibility as well as the new "clang" C/ObjC front-end, which provides capabilities to build source-to-source translators and many other tools.
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yeah... academic groups produce new chip ideas now and then. See Sun's Niagra, for example. It was developed out by Sun, but the initial version was done by a Professor and his grad students.

Intel's Terrascale was also made by a small group. Look up Cavium's OCTEON as well.

Smaller experimental chips are more likely to need compiler support to test out their design ideas before going into mass production. If the researcher has a backend IR with some non-chip-specific optimizations, she has a great basis to work with for designing a specialized processor.

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