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Apple Open-Sources Their 64-bit ARM LLVM Back-End

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  • Apple Open-Sources Their 64-bit ARM LLVM Back-End

    Phoronix: Apple Open-Sources Their 64-bit ARM LLVM Back-End

    Back in September of last year after Apple unveiled the iPhone 5S smart-phone with a 64-bit processor, they said they would ultimately open-source their 64-bit ARM compiler back-end... A half-year later, we're finally seeing this code that yields another AArch64 back-end for LLVM...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY0NzE

  • #2
    Now if only Apple had developed their 64-bit llvm backend as open source, in cooperation with the rest of the LLVM developers from the start, now there would be only one implementation...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
      Now if only Apple had developed their 64-bit llvm backend as open source, in cooperation with the rest of the LLVM developers from the start, now there would be only one implementation...
      You don't get much on this issue. Neither Google, nor any member of the LLVM community in the business of making money is open sourcing their stacks until the Legal Staff clears them.

      Then again, Apple is funding the bulk of the entire project, and now this stack which has everyone peeing themselves in overjoy doesn't seem to not realize the difference between licensing structures.

      There didn't just add the LLVM Target for ARM64, but are adding Clang, libc++, Compiler-RT and LLDB. In short, they've done all the heavy lifting and are giving it back for all to leverage.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
        Now if only Apple had developed their 64-bit llvm backend as open source, in cooperation with the rest of the LLVM developers from the start, now there would be only one implementation...
        Soon there well be only one implementation as well. Either one makes it or they'll be somehow merged.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
          Now if only Apple had developed their 64-bit llvm backend as open source, in cooperation with the rest of the LLVM developers from the start, now there would be only one implementation...
          Really this is nonsense! There was no way for Apple to develop this facility without letting the rest of the world know where they where going processor wise. The fact that Apple has gotten a solid 1 year lead on the rest of the industry demonstrates that they did the right thing as a company. The reality is the business world is a dog eat dog environment, your company won't survive without innovation and keeping a leg up on the competition. You can't do that if you let all your secrets out.

          Beyond that the last thing you want in the compiler world is a development process that hurts innovation and new ideas. As the two code bases merge they will each become significantly better due to the differing approaches to a solution. Eventually there will be one compiler in the Toolchain that hopefully borrows the best from both development threads.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Marc Driftmeyer View Post
            You don't get much on this issue. Neither Google, nor any member of the LLVM community in the business of making money is open sourcing their stacks until the Legal Staff clears them.
            I sometimes think these comments come from people that have never work for a reasonably large company. I would imagine that along with legal there are upper management hurdles, QC issues and other boxes to be checked off before they go public.
            Then again, Apple is funding the bulk of the entire project, and now this stack which has everyone peeing themselves in overjoy doesn't seem to not realize the difference between licensing structures.
            Really peeing themselves. Exciting yes but really it is just a compiler.

            What is possible more interesting here is the support of Linux. It isn't an afterthought instead it looks like Apple people are promoting it as a feature and an important one worth highlighting. Makes me wonder what is up at Apple Linux wise.
            There didn't just add the LLVM Target for ARM64, but are adding Clang, libc++, Compiler-RT and LLDB. In short, they've done all the heavy lifting and are giving it back for all to leverage.
            People often dismiss what Apple has done here but it is huge. There is simply no way that the LLVM stack would be where it is today without the support of Apple. They have made massive progress in a very short time. That being said we don't want to dismiss the help of others such as Google that have put very significant effort into parts of the stack. LLVM is very much open source with a Wide contributor base.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
              Makes me wonder what is up at Apple Linux wise.
              A few years ago in a talk Greg KH mentioned that apple uses linux on newly developed iphone hardware to see if it works.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mlau View Post
                A few years ago in a talk Greg KH mentioned that apple uses linux on newly developed iphone hardware to see if it works.
                More likely the engineers expected to upstream the code and ensured it would work. They are probably angry with management that they were not allowed to upstream it earlier.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by carewolf View Post
                  More likely the engineers expected to upstream the code and ensured it would work. They are probably angry with management that they were not allowed to upstream it earlier.
                  What do they have to be angers about? It was fully expected that the code would be released, Apple publicly said it would happen. Beyond that, you don't work for a corporation in ignorance, you realize that things take time and that you don't have 100% control over your work.

                  I highly doubt that what you suggest has any basis in fact, but if that feeling is present in any engineer at Apple then clearly that engineer needs to work someplace else.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
                    What do they have to be angers about? It was fully expected that the code would be released, Apple publicly said it would happen. Beyond that, you don't work for a corporation in ignorance, you realize that things take time and that you don't have 100% control over your work.

                    I highly doubt that what you suggest has any basis in fact, but if that feeling is present in any engineer at Apple then clearly that engineer needs to work someplace else.
                    That sounds incredible arrogant and like an outright malicious way of thinking.

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