Re: microcode compilers

philip@amdcad.AMD.COM (Philip Freidin)
4 Jun 87 23:22:55 GMT

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From: philip@amdcad.AMD.COM (Philip Freidin)
Date: 4 Jun 87 23:22:55 GMT
References: <576@ima.UUCP>
Organization: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Sunnyvale, Ca.

In article <576@ima.UUCP> writes:
>has anyone seen or heard of compilers for microcoded processors ...?

Please be specific about what you are interested in. There are many
software packages available that are classed as meta-assemblers that
are available for doing microcode assembly. These include (but are not
limited to) AMDASM (the original mass distributed microcode assembler),
MetaStep from step engineering (an exelent macro micro assembler),
Hale from HiLevel Technology ( " " " " " ),
Macasm from Microtec (derived from an internal project at AMD called M29).
I am sure there are many more.

(Because opinions can be construed as representing a companies endorsement,
I am unwilling to tell you which one I use at work and at home.)

If your question was really about compilers, then the following may be of
some help (but probably not much).

Compilers for microcode fall into several classes. Normal languages in
(C, FTN, ALG, ... APL) and microcode out. Then there are those that
have their own unique highlevel language in, and generate microcode out.
This later class usually has an input language that makes it very difficult
to port to any other micro architecture. In this category that have been
inumerable academic projects that follow this direction, and have resulted in
many masters and PHD degrees, at which point the research inevitably ends,
untill someone else trys to reinvent this incomplete wheel.


There are no general purpose (i.e. C or Fortran) to arbitrary (read: user
specifiable) micro architecture compilers.


(If anyone wants to know why I think this is so, post a message. Hopefully
you all know why and I can avoid some typing).


For one of the products mentioned, the AM29000, there will certainly be
multiple compilers available. This will include C, Pascal, Fortran, and
others. There will also be several unix ports and realtime executives
written for this processor. This is probably why most people would not
class it as a microcoded processor.

Philip Freidin @ AMD SUNYVALE on {favorite path!amdcad!philip)
Section Manager of Product Planning for Microprogrammable Processors
(you know.... all that 2900 stuff...)

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