[Openmcl-devel] Thoughts? OpenMCL on ARM processors?

Rainer Joswig joswig at lisp.de
Tue Oct 30 21:51:40 UTC 2007


Hi,

  I'm a bit curious to hear if anybody has thoughts about this topic.

ARM processors are extremely widely used. They offer RISC design with  
a low-power implementation.

As I understand the iPhone and the iPod touch are both ARM-based and  
they are running
a customized version of OSX. Apple is currently not providing a  
software development kit,
but has announced that there will be some form of SDK starting in  
February next year.
People have been able to write software for these devices, which  
currently is not
wanted by Apple.

Both devices have 128MB RAM and a minimum of 8GB flash based disk.

AFAIK no popular native code compiling Common Lisp can compile to ARM  
instructions.

Maybe Gary has an opinion about this? How different would a backend  
for the ARM
processor (say, similar to those used in the iPhone and iPod touch) be  
from the
32bit PPC backend? Would it be easier or more difficult than a 32bit  
Intel backend?

CCL, MACL, ... were running in very little memory years ago. Wouldn't  
it be
a good starting point for a native code compiler for ARM-based OSX
machines?

It is unknown how much future ARM processors will have in mobile
Apple computers, since it might be possible that Intel will have
useful low-power x86 machines. But it seems that the infrastructure
for low-power ARM-based devices is quite good right now and
Apple has two devices that will be sold in large quantities.

Does anybody has spare cycles to comment on this?

Regards,

Rainer Joswig





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