LLVM Backend In Development For China's C-SKY Embedded CPUs

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 21 August 2020 at 06:40 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The Chinese-developed C-SKY CPU architecture for 32-bit SoCs and embedded processors could soon see an LLVM back-end to complement the C-SKY support found since GCC 9.

C-SKY aims to be a "high-performance low-power" 32-bit processor design geared for embedded systems. Initial C-SKY support for the Linux kernel was upstreamed back in Linux 4.20.

Since the C-SKY architecture support was upstreamed in the Linux kernel in 2018, there has also been the GCC compiler support to come together as well as other support within the GNU toolchain like GDB and Binutils. The kernel code has also continued to advance.

Now as the latest open-source C-SKY work, there is a back-end being developed for LLVM should you want to use the likes of Clang for targeting these low-power embedded processors.

The initial C-SKY back-end for LLVM was announced on the mailing list Thursday. The back-end is still a work-in-progress but was sent out for developer review and feedback.

So far at least outside of China, C-SKY access is quite limited. For a time there was a low-cost development board (that had also seen some C-SKY benchmarks) but in general the hardware availability is quite limited and judging from the metrics that have been published the performance too is quite low for now.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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