Finite-state code generation

Christopher W. Fraser, Todd A. Proebsting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes GBURG, which generates tiny, fast code generators based on finite-state machine pattern matching. The code generators translate postfix intermediate code into machine instructions in one pass (except, of course, for backpatching addresses). A stack-based virtual machine - known as the Lean Virtual Machine (LVM) - tuned for fast code generation is also described. GBURG translates the two-page LVM-to-x86 specification into a code generator that fits entirely in an 8 KB I-cache and that emits x86 code at 3.6 MB/sec on a 266-MHz P6. Our just-in-time code generator translates and executes small benchmarks at speeds within a factor of two of executables derived from the conventional compile-time code generator on which it is based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-280
Number of pages11
JournalSIGPLAN Notices (ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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