LLVM 9.0.0 Release Notes


These are in-progress notes for the upcoming LLVM 9 release. Release notes for previous releases can be found on the Download Page.


This document contains the release notes for the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, release 9.0.0. Here we describe the status of LLVM, including major improvements from the previous release, improvements in various subprojects of LLVM, and some of the current users of the code. All LLVM releases may be downloaded from the LLVM releases web site.

For more information about LLVM, including information about the latest release, please check out the main LLVM web site. If you have questions or comments, the LLVM Developer’s Mailing List is a good place to send them.

Note that if you are reading this file from a Subversion checkout or the main LLVM web page, this document applies to the next release, not the current one. To see the release notes for a specific release, please see the releases page.

Non-comprehensive list of changes in this release

  • The optimizer will now convert calls to memcmp into a calls to bcmp in some circumstances. Users who are building freestanding code (not depending on the platform’s libc) without specifying -ffreestanding may need to either pass -fno-builtin-bcmp, or provide a bcmp function.
  • Two new extension points, namely EP_FullLinkTimeOptimizationEarly and EP_FullLinkTimeOptimizationLast are available for plugins to specialize the legacy pass manager full LTO pipeline.
  • llvm-objcopy/llvm-strip got support for COFF object files/executables, supporting the most common copying/stripping options.
  • The CMake parameter CLANG_ANALYZER_ENABLE_Z3_SOLVER has been replaced by LLVM_ENABLE_Z3_SOLVER.

Noteworthy optimizations

  • LLVM will now remove stores to constant memory (since this is a contradiction) under the assumption the code in question must be dead. This has proven to be problematic for some C/C++ code bases which expect to be able to cast away ‘const’. This is (and has always been) undefined behavior, but up until now had not been actively utilized for optimization purposes in this exact way. For more information, please see: bug 42763 <https://bugs.llvm.org/show_bug.cgi?id=42763>_ and post commit discussion <http://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/llvm-commits/Week-of-Mon-20190422/646945.html>_.

Changes to the LLVM IR

  • Added immarg parameter attribute. This indicates an intrinsic parameter is required to be a simple constant. This annotation must be accurate to avoid possible miscompiles.
  • The 2-field form of global variables @llvm.global_ctors and @llvm.global_dtors has been deleted. The third field of their element type is now mandatory. Specify i8* null to migrate from the obsoleted 2-field form.
  • The byval attribute can now take a type parameter: byval(<ty>). If present it must be identical to the argument’s pointee type. In the next release we intend to make this parameter mandatory in preparation for opaque pointer types.
  • atomicrmw xchg now allows floating point types
  • atomicrmw now supports fadd and fsub

Changes to building LLVM

  • Building LLVM with Visual Studio now requires version 2017 or later.

Changes to the ARM Backend

During this release …

Changes to the MIPS Target

  • Support for .cplocal assembler directive.
  • Support for sge, sgeu, sgt, sgtu pseudo instructions.
  • Support for o inline asm constraint.
  • Improved support of GlobalISel instruction selection framework. This feature is still in experimental state for MIPS targets though.
  • Various code-gen improvements, related to improved and fixed instruction selection and encoding and floating-point registers allocation.
  • Complete P5600 scheduling model.

Changes to the PowerPC Target

During this release …

Changes to the SystemZ Target

  • Support for the arch13 architecture has been added. When using the -march=arch13 option, the compiler will generate code making use of new instructions introduced with the vector enhancement facility 2 and the miscellaneous instruction extension facility 2. The -mtune=arch13 option enables arch13 specific instruction scheduling and tuning without making use of new instructions.
  • Builtins for the new vector instructions have been added and can be enabled using the -mzvector option. Support for these builtins is indicated by the compiler predefining the __VEC__ macro to the value 10303.
  • The compiler now supports and automatically generates alignment hints on vector load and store instructions.
  • Various code-gen improvements, in particular related to improved instruction selection and register allocation.

Changes to the X86 Target

  • Fixed a bug in generating DWARF unwind information for 32 bit MinGW

Changes to the AMDGPU Target

  • Function call support is now enabled by default
  • Improved support for 96-bit loads and stores
  • DPP combiner pass is now enabled by default
  • Support for gfx10

Changes to the AVR Target

During this release …

Changes to the WebAssembly Target

During this release …

Changes to LLDB

  • Backtraces are now color highlighting in the terminal.
  • DWARF4 (debug_types) and DWARF5 (debug_info) type units are now supported.
  • This release will be the last where lldb-mi is shipped as part of LLDB. The tool will still be available in a downstream repository on GitHub.

Additional Information

A wide variety of additional information is available on the LLVM web page, in particular in the documentation section. The web page also contains versions of the API documentation which is up-to-date with the Subversion version of the source code. You can access versions of these documents specific to this release by going into the llvm/docs/ directory in the LLVM tree.

If you have any questions or comments about LLVM, please feel free to contact us via the mailing lists.