Haskell Compiler with LLVM backend

by Mithrandir

We know that GHC (The Glorious Haskell Compiler) can output it’s machine code via assembly or via C. Someone once asked on Haskell-cafe if LLVM couldn’t be used, taking into account that once you get your code to LLVM it will be very easy to deploy it to several platforms. Though, a year ago, the answer was discouraging, a BSC Thesis by David Therei contradicted this. Right now, we can write very fast code in Haskell using the LLVM backend. If you need a benchmark, see here an example.

Now, a short review on the thesis. Starting with a few details on compiler design and quickly dwelling into GHC, David presents his work on implemententing the LLVM backend for GHC. His thesis ends with some short evaluations but I enjoyed the above example more.

His paper has enough code examples to make everything clearer to any begginer into the topic of compilers and I recommend reading it while it is still open to anyone wanting to work on this area.

To me, reading this paper was like descovering a hidden treasury. Had I read it sooner I wouldn’t make several mistakes in my Verilog compiler (the third article will be written shortly after this post).

About these ads