[announce] Erlang ported to linksys nslu2

Wed May 18 11:57:27 CEST 2005

Am Mittwoch, den 18.05.2005, 14:50 +1200 schrieb Richard A. O'Keefe:
Mikael Pettersson <mikpe@REDACTED> wrote:
> 	 > Does anyone know what it takes to port HiPE to ARM?
> 	Easy, provide us with the HW :-) Seriously, any 32-bit CPU
> 	sensible enough to be able to run Linux and the gcc toolchain,
> 	and which is already running Erlang's BEAM interpreter, should
> 	be "supportable". I haven't studied the ARM ISA so I can't
> 	comment on whether generating native code would be easy or hard.
> ARM chips support the "ARM" instruction set.
> They may also support the "Thumb" instruction set, and/or the JVM.
> ARM is basically a 32-bit RISC with 16 registers,
> of which R15 is the PC, R14 is the return address, and R13 is SP.
> Arithmetic and logical instructions are 3-operand and
> may include a condition (instruction executed if condition true,
> so no Bcc needed) and one source operand may include a shift.
> Loads, stores, and branches are also conditional.
> There's a condition code register with N, Z, C, V flags.
> Depending on the model, there may be a Vector Floating Point coprocessor
> providing IEEE arithmetic (on single numbers or short vectors).
> The one thing it seems to be missing is an integer divide instruction
> (the assembler manual has unsigned division as an example of a macro).
> ARM instructions are 32 bits wide; Thumb instructions are mostly 16 bits
> wide, and only let you access registers R0..R7 directly.  (Thumb2 is
> more powerful.)  The point of Thumb is to save code space without
> sacrificing performance.
> I should think that ARM would be a pretty nice target for native compilation
> of Erlang.

Definitely it is, considering ARM's dominance on the market for all kinds of embedded devices! I am not working in this field but I think this would be the way to drastically increase Erlang's acceptance. Please, *please* do it!
(BTW: What are you using for embedded devices nowadays? Java, I guess, and Ada, if it's mission-critical 8-@ ?)

-- Ruediger Marcus

Chevalier Dr. Dr. Don Ruediger Marcus FLAIG  MSc ScD PhD KCHT KSR CSM KEL MLJ MOC
   Institute for Immunology            
   University of Heidelberg 
   Im Neuenheimer Feld 305            Occam's Razor: Never opt for a complex theory
   D-69120 Heidelberg                 if a simple one provides a sufficient explanation.
   Germany                            Gibbon's Addendum: Never opt for a complex theory
   <flaig@REDACTED>            if base motifs provide a sufficient explanation.

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