Book Image

Learn LLVM 12

By : Kai Nacke
Book Image

Learn LLVM 12

By: Kai Nacke

Overview of this book

LLVM was built to bridge the gap between compiler textbooks and actual compiler development. It provides a modular codebase and advanced tools which help developers to build compilers easily. This book provides a practical introduction to LLVM, gradually helping you navigate through complex scenarios with ease when it comes to building and working with compilers. You’ll start by configuring, building, and installing LLVM libraries, tools, and external projects. Next, the book will introduce you to LLVM design and how it works in practice during each LLVM compiler stage: frontend, optimizer, and backend. Using a subset of a real programming language as an example, you will then learn how to develop a frontend and generate LLVM IR, hand it over to the optimization pipeline, and generate machine code from it. Later chapters will show you how to extend LLVM with a new pass and how instruction selection in LLVM works. You’ll also focus on Just-in-Time compilation issues and the current state of JIT-compilation support that LLVM provides, before finally going on to understand how to develop a new backend for LLVM. By the end of this LLVM book, you will have gained real-world experience in working with the LLVM compiler development framework with the help of hands-on examples and source code snippets.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Section 1 – The Basics of Compiler Construction with LLVM
Section 2 – From Source to Machine Code Generation
Section 3 –Taking LLVM to the Next Level

Chapter 7: Advanced IR Generation

With the intermediate representation (IR) generation introduced in the previous chapters, you can already implement most of the functionality required in a compiler. In this chapter, we will look at some advanced topics that often arise in terms of real-world compilers. For example, many modern languages make use of exception handling, and we look at how to translate this to low-level virtual machine (LLVM) IR.

To support the LLVM optimizer in producing better code in certain situations, we add additional type metadata to the IR code, and attaching debug metadata enables the compiler's user to take advantage of source-level debug tools.

In this chapter, you will learn about the following topics:

  • In Throwing and catching exceptions, you will learn how to implement exception handling in your compiler.
  • In Generating metadata for type-based alias analysis, you attach additional metadata to LLVM IR, which helps LLVM to better optimize...