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Design of a WCET-Aware C Compiler

Heiko Falk, Paul Lokuciejewski, Henrik Theiling

Dresden, Germany, July 4, 2006


This paper presents techniques to tightly integrate worst-case execution time information into a compiler framework. Currently, a tight integration of WCET information into the compilation process is strongly desired, but only some ad-hoc approaches have been reported currently. Previous publications mainly used self-written WCET estimators with very limited functionality and preciseness during compilation. A very tight integration of a high quality industry-relevant WCET analyzer into a compiler was not yet achieved up to now. This work is the first to present techniques capable of achieving such a tight coupling between a compiler and the WCET analyzer aiT. This is done by automatically translating the assembly-like contents of the compiler's low-level intermediate representation (LLIR) to aiT's exchange format CRL2. Additionally, the results produced by the WCET analyzer are automatically collected and re-imported into the compiler infrastructure. The work described in this paper is smoothly integrated into a C compiler environment for the Infineon TriCore processor. It opens up new possibilities for the design of WCET-aware optimizations in the future.

The concepts for extending the compiler infrastructure are kept very general so that they are not limited to WCET information. Rather, it is possible to use our structures also for multi-objective optimization of e.g. best-case execution time (BCET) or energy dissipation.

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