Using the SGI Pro64 Open Source Compiler Infra-Structure for Teaching and Research

Jose Nelson Amaral, Christopher Barton, Andrew C. Macdonell,  and Matthew McNaughton

Modern optimizing compilers are complex programs that require from
tens to hundreds of people-years to be developed. Thus professors must
use third-party compiler infra-structures to introduce students to
compiler optimizations. Until recently only infra-structures developed
at universities, research institutes, or by GNU were widely available
for teaching. However, in May 2000, SGI made public the source
code for Pro64, a highly optimized suite of compilers for the Intel
Architecture 64 (IA-64) that is an evolution of the established MIPSPro suite
of compilers. The use of a production-level compiler infra-structure
for teaching is thus new. In this paper we report our experience using
the Pro64 in a graduate compiler optimization class. We paired the
study of the Pro64 with the use of IMPACT within Trimaran, and with
performance studies conducted with the MIPSPro compilers. The students
feedback indicate that they valued working with a state-of-the-art
compiler infra-structure and studying open research topics for their
class projects.

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