kickass optimizing compilers?

"Brandon J. Van Every" <>
9 Jan 2004 23:48:44 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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From: "Brandon J. Van Every" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 9 Jan 2004 23:48:44 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: optimize, assembler, practice
Posted-Date: 09 Jan 2004 23:48:44 EST

Can anyone point me at compilers that are considered "state of the
art" for optimized ASM generation? I don't care what language, or CPU
platform, or whether it's freely or commercially available, or even if
it only exists in a lab.

Much has been said over the years that oh, compilers will generate
code better than humans can, but as an ASM jock for 11 years I've
never seen it. Most of the mainstream commercial compilers are really
lousy, for a predictable reason: a new CPU comes out, 2 years go by,
compiler writers *might* start getting experienced with that CPU at
that point, but then a new CPU comes out.... The best optimizing
compiler I've seen was the DEC Alpha C compiler. It wasn't perfect or
a generator of miracles, I found lotsa ways to justify my existence as
an ASM coder. But that compiler did cut down a lot of work, there
were a lot of cases it would handle pretty well.
Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA
[This has come up before. It is indeed usually possible for hand
written code to beat compilers on small routines, but compilers have
the advantage that when you give them 100,000 lines of code to
translate, their eyes don't glaze over. -John]

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