Academia embrace CoSy compiler development system

ACE Press Release

14 new compiler research projects using CoSy

Amsterdam - 14 July 2006

ACE Associated Compiler Experts bv is pleased to announce fourteen (14) new compiler research projects based upon its CoSy compiler development system. With its modular design and extensive use of software generators, CoSy is the world's best environment for professional construction of production quality compilers for the broad range of processor architectures. Many large and small semiconductor industries have successfully used CoSy in the development of their C/C++ compilers. While CoSy has always been available for selected research in advanced compilation techniques, an increasing number of researchers recognize the advantages of working with this well-supported and maintained compiler framework.

The CoSy compiler research projects that recently started, cover a wide range of topics. Four independent compiler research projects at Università di Bologna, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universiteit van Leiden and Waseda University in Tokyo, focus on the subject of compilation for heterogeneous multiprocessor systems. Politecnico di Torino, Technische Universiteit Delft and the University of Edinburgh have started research on the topic of compilation for reconfigurable processors. "CoSy is an extremely powerful compiler platform," says Mihai Lazarescu from Politecnico di Torino. "With its high level of abstraction, CoSy poses a steep learning curve for the students, but this definitely pays off in quality and productivity for elaborate projects." Another three universities are involved in research of hardware/software co-design methodologies and tools: Osaka University, RWTH Aachen and Universität Karlsruhe. Furthermore, Imperial College has designed methods for power optimization by means of generating dedicated hardware instructions. "At Imperial, we designed an advanced version of power-aware scheduling, to construct a power-optimizing compiler," says Rob Dimond. "Compared to other open compiler frameworks, such as Suif, LCC and GCC, CoSy allows you to really focus on the specifics of your compiler. We achieved more in one month of work in CoSy than with 6 months of previous work in LCC." RWTH Aachen is currently extending the CoSy system with generic support for SIMD and conditional instructions. Technische Universität Dresden is constructing a CoSy compiler for a vector processing architecture, and the Technische Universität Berlin is doing research in structural validation of compiler components, such as analysis and optimization engines. "We only recently started using CoSy and we are already enjoying the benefits," says Prof. Dr. Sabine Glesner from TU Berlin. "The rich documentation in the manuals and source code, as well as the strict modularity, are a tremendous help in understanding the system. Particularly the separation between compiler algorithms and the target dependent information in the back-end engines is a valuable property for targeting compilers." In addition to the specific compiler research projects, many of these universities also use CoSy in the curriculum for classes on the subject of compiler construction.

"The economics of compiler development, both industrial and academic, are not well understood, particularly the industrial use and productisation of research results," says Marco Roodzant, VP Marketing and Sales of ACE. "We are pleased to see so many advanced compiler research groups appreciate the unique values of CoSy and efficiently tackle complex compiler research topics in an industrial quality framework. The benefits are that the end results of the research projects are much closer to product quality."

Many challenges are associated with compiler construction, let alone its research. Compilation of source code into executable code for dedicated programmable electronics is a complex matter with numerous barriers before the actual research topics can be taken on. By using CoSy, the compiler research can immediately focus on the topic of interest and get results much quicker than otherwise would have been possible. There is no need to get familiar with millions of lines of code, or to construct the compiler fundaments, as CoSy comes with a wealth of ready-to-use components. But most importantly, CoSy provides full support for extending the system. Another advantage of working with CoSy is that there are no restrictions in maintaining control over the IP resulting from the research project. Industrial users and researchers alike are free to extend the CoSy compiler development system with dedicated components, without the obligation to make these available to the public. Over the past decade many academic publications and PhD theses have demonstrated the successes in CoSy compiler research.

About ACE
ACE Associated Compiler Experts bv (a wholly owned subsidiary of ACE Associated Computer Experts bv, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is a world leader in compiler development tools. Its open CoSy compiler development system gives compiler developers the ability to achieve a leading edge position in the construction of better and faster optimizing compilers for architectures ranging from 4-bit microcontrollers to 24-bit DSPs and 256-bit VLIW processors. CoSy accommodates a wide range of programming languages including C, Embedded C, DSP-C, C++, Fortran and Java. SuperTest is a most comprehensive testing and validation suite for C/C++ compilers. Based upon 30+ years of ACE experience in compiler construction and validation, SuperTest provides a unique level of compiler test coverage. More information on ACE and its products and services is available at www.ace.nl.

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