Recognition for LLVM
Recognition for LLVM
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 12 April 2013

The ACM's Software System Award for 2012 has gone to  LLVM, the language-independent collection of programming technologies that turn programming languages into machine code.

LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine)) is a compiler infrastructure that consists of a collection of libraries and tools for optimizing compilers and just-in-time code generators.

Looking for references to LLVM on I Programmer it crops up frequently but as an unsung hero - so it it good to know that its contribution to today's web apps and browsers is being recognized with this award which is for:

developing software systems that have had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts and/or commercial acceptance.

Although the term Virtual Machine occurs in its name, LLVM is more an intermediate language that can be targeted by a compiler and then translated to various actual machine codes. The best known LLVM compiler is Clang for C/C++/Objective C. Once the program is converted to LLVM code it can be JIT compiled to a range of native codes or, more recently, converted to asm.js or full JavaScript. The Dragonegg project integrates LLVM with the GCC parsers which extends its reach to Ada, Fortran etc. It is the range of languages that LLVM provides a common  foundation for that makes it so important as a well as its role as a general compiler middleware. 

According to announcement from the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery), the project was founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000 under the direction of Chris Lattner (now director of Developer Tools at Apple) and Vikram Adve, a professor at UIUC. Evan Cheng, now a senior manager at Apple was the main person responsible for the architecture and implementation of LLVM's code generator.

In the years since its release, LLVM has been incorporated into commercial products by Apple, Adobe, AMD, Arxan, AutoESL, Cray, Google, Intel, and many others.

The three recipients of the award will share a prize $35.000. financial support for which comes from IBM. Last year's award went to Eclipse and VMWare Workstation for Linux and Eiffel have also been recipients in recent years.

 

 

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