Learn LLVM 12: A beginner's guide to learning LLVM compiler tools and core libraries with C++

Learn LLVM 12: A beginner's guide to learning LLVM compiler tools and core libraries with C++

Book Description
Learn how to build and use all parts of real-world compilers, including the frontend, optimization pipeline, and a new backend by leveraging the power of LLVM core libraries

Key Features

  • Get to grips with effectively using LLVM libraries step-by-step
  • Understand LLVM compiler high-level design and apply the same principles to your own compiler
  • Use compiler-based tools to improve the quality of code in C++ projects

Book Description

LLVM was built to bridge the gap between compiler textbooks and actual compiler development. It provides a modular codebase and advanced tools which help developers to build compilers easily. This book provides a practical introduction to LLVM, gradually helping you navigate through complex scenarios with ease when it comes to building and working with compilers.
You'll start by configuring, building, and installing LLVM libraries, tools, and external projects. Next, the book will introduce you to LLVM design and how it works in practice during each LLVM compiler stage: frontend, optimizer, and backend. Using a subset of a real programming language as an example, you will then learn how to develop a frontend and generate LLVM IR, hand it over to the optimization pipeline, and generate machine code from it. Later chapters will show you how to extend LLVM with a new pass and how instruction selection in LLVM works. You'll also focus on Just-in-Time compilation issues and the current state of JIT-compilation support that LLVM provides, before finally going on to understand how to develop a new backend for LLVM.
By the end of this LLVM book, you will have gained real-world experience in working with the LLVM compiler development framework with the help of hands-on examples and source code snippets.

What you will learn

  • Configure, compile, and install the LLVM framework
  • Understand how the LLVM source is organized
  • Discover what you need to do to use LLVM in your own projects
  • Explore how a compiler is structured, and implement a tiny compiler
  • Generate LLVM IR for common source language constructs
  • Set up an optimization pipeline and tailor it for your own needs
  • Extend LLVM with transformation passes and clang tooling
  • Add new machine instructions and a complete backend

Who this book is for

This book is for compiler developers, enthusiasts, and engineers who are new to LLVM and are interested in learning about the LLVM framework. It is also useful for C++ software engineers looking to use compiler-based tools for code analysis and improvement, as well as casual users of LLVM libraries who want to gain more knowledge of LLVM essentials. Intermediate-level experience with C++ programming is mandatory to understand the concepts covered in this book more effectively.


Section 1 – The Basics of Compiler Construction with LLVM
Chapter 1: Installing LLVM
Chapter 2: Touring the LLVM Source
Chapter 3: The Structure of a Compiler

Section 2 – From Source to Machine Code Generation
Chapter 4: Turning the Source File into an Abstract Syntax Tree
Chapter 5: Basics of IR Code Generation
Chapter 6: IR Generation for High-Level Language Constructs
Chapter 7: Advanced IR Generation
Chapter 8: Optimizing IR

Section 3 – Taking LLVM to the Next Level
Chapter 9: Instruction Selection
Chapter 10: JIT Compilation
Chapter 11: Debugging Using LLVM Tools
Chapter 12: Create Your Own Backend

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