Compilers take software written in high-level programming languages, such as C and C++, and convert them into machine code that can be understood by microprocessors. The more efficient the conversion from a high-level programming language into machine code is, the more efficient the microprocessor is.
The ORC compiler framework is based on an existing open-source Itanium compiler, Pro64, and consists of modular components that perform a specific optimisation task. These modules allow researchers to test different optimisation techniques - such as global instruction scheduling, predication and speculation, and software pipelining - against the basic compiler framework. The software also includes tools to enable validation and comparison of these modules.
The compiler framework is the product of a two-year development project begun by Intel and ICT in April 2001.