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Intel Working On 16-bit x86 Support For LLVM

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  • Intel Working On 16-bit x86 Support For LLVM

    Phoronix: Intel Working On 16-bit x86 Support For LLVM

    While we have advanced well beyond the Intel 8086 in the processor world, an Intel open-source technology center developer is currently working on 16-bit x86 support for the LLVM compiler infrastructure...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU3MTM

  • #2
    I find this curious, but am having a hard time figuring out the use cases for this. Can anyone help me out?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Serge View Post
      I find this curious, but am having a hard time figuring out the use cases for this. Can anyone help me out?
      Wine has alot of 16bit code in it.. because windows has alot of 16bit code in it for legacy reasons.

      http://wiki.winehq.org/16BitSeparation

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cb88 View Post
        Wine has alot of 16bit code in it.. because windows had alot of 16bit code in it for legacy reasons.

        http://wiki.winehq.org/16BitSeparation
        Fixed that for you. Since Windows Vista there is no 16 bit support anymore.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Serge View Post
          I find this curious, but am having a hard time figuring out the use cases for this. Can anyone help me out?
          Compatibility and BIOS Code is in 16Bit. The Boot loader in a MBR is also 8086-compatible 16bit Code

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          • #6
            I was going to make a snarky comment about Z80... But then realized that it has an LLVM backend

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nille View Post
              Compatibility and BIOS Code is in 16Bit. The Boot loader in a MBR is also 8086-compatible 16bit Code
              I thought BIOS was 24bit?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                I thought BIOS was 24bit?
                The first IBM-PC has a Intel 8088 CPU. It was a 16 Bit CPU and so is the BIOS a 16bit Software and the first Software that is loaded from the HDD is the 16bit Bootloader. With UEFI we have now 64bit/32bit Software.

                TrueCrypt for Windows need because of that a very old Microsoft Compiler with 16bit support for build the bootloader.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Serge View Post
                  I find this curious, but am having a hard time figuring out the use cases for this. Can anyone help me out?
                  Did you even read the article?

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for the responses, everyone.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LLStarks View Post
                      I was going to make a snarky comment about Z80... But then realized that it has an LLVM backend
                      You can probably make that same joke but with a 6502 instead.

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                      • #12
                        Windows 7 still has 16 bit support, but only on 32 bit installations. Unlike Windows, Wine can still run Win16 apps even on 64 bit OSes.

                        Wine can't run DOS (16 bit real mode) apps on a CPU in Long Mode because VM86 isn't available in that mode. For that purpose Wine uses Dosbox to run DOS apps and report the result back to the calling Windows application.

                        There are plenty of old Win 3.1 games. There is value in running them - a game after all is a work of art, and not a tool that can be replaced by a newer equivalent. Many Win95-Era 32 bit games use 16 bit installers. Some of those work on 64 bit Windows because Windows ships replacement binaries that parse the old InstallShield files.

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                        • #13
                          There apparently was gcc support for 6502

                          http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp...compiling/1524

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                          • #14
                            I just thought I would mention it here, because it didn't seem to be mentioned besides at the end of the mailing list thread:

                            This is not real 16 bit code generation support - it is 32 bit code generation wrapped with size override prefixes. It generates code that runs on a 32 bit processor, which is running in 16 bit mode. It does not generate code that can execute on an 8086 thru 80286, unfortunately.

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