Re: Binary Translation (Dave Hayden)
Wed, 29 Mar 1995 19:15:58 GMT

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Binary Translation (Christopher B Wilkerson) (1995-03-21)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Dave Hayden)
Keywords: assembler, translator
Organization: AT&T
References: 95-03-121
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 19:15:58 GMT

Christopher B Wilkerson <> writes:

>Does anyone know where I can find information on binary tranlation. I
>am particularly interested in ways to extract dependancy information from
>binary images and optimizations that can be performed on binary images
>when they are tranlated for a different architecture.

I know of three working translators you might want to look at. DEC
has a VAX to Alpha translator. MicroAPL in London has PortAsm, a 68k
to PowerPC assembler translator for the MAC, and we (Bell Labs) have
Flashport, a binary translator that works with a variety of source and
target machines.

I can't tell you much about how our translator works because of trade
secrets. We perform a large variety of traditional optimizations, but
because we don't care how long the optimizer itself runs, we can do
this more agressively than commerical compilers typically do. Also,
we extract a huge volume of information about the original program as
part of the disassembly process. Much of this is passed on to the
optimizer and really helps it out.

We found that the harder problem was getting an accurate disassembly
of the program. I hope you've considered these difficulties too.

David Hayden
AT&T Bell Laboratories (908)946-1107
943 Holmdel Road
Holmdel, NJ 07733

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