Green Hills Optimizing Compilers Shrink Linux

Green Hills Optimizing Compilers Outperform GNU

Green Hills Software has been approached recently by several manufacturers who ran out of memory while attempting to use Linux in a resource-constrained environment. Could the Green Hills Optimizing compilers help them out?

This was a formidable challenge, given that the Linux kernel is tightly coupled to the GNU compiler and uses unusual coding conventions that rely on non-ANSI, proprietary GNU extensions.

Fortunately, the Green Hills Software PowerPC compiler already supported almost all of the GNU extensions. With a few minor additions, the Green Hills Optimizing compiler was able to compile the Linux kernel, with no changes to the kernel source code!

And the results? Green Hills Software's PowerPC compiler was able to reduce the ROM size used by the Linux kernel by a remarkable 35%, from 1.9 MB to 1.2 MB.

The 663 KB of memory savings is enough to fit twenty copies of the
INTEGRITY Real Time Operating System (RTOS).

EEMBC Results

Not only are Green Hills Optimizing compilers great for reducing code size, they can also make your application run much faster. Green Hills Software's compilers continue to be the dominant choice for semiconductor manufacturers participating in the industry standard Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) benchmarks. At last count, Green Hills Software's compilers were used in 24 posted results, more than three times more than any other compiler.

The latest results may explain why. Using the Green Hills Optimizing compiler, IBM set the EEMBC record for system-on-chip performance on benchmarks for its PowerPC 440GX and 440GP. Not only did Green Hills Software's compiler help IBM set the overall record, it also beat the other compiler tested on the same IBM processors by as much as 81%.