Embedding Foreign Code

Robert Clifton-Everest, Trevor L. McDonell, Manuel M. T. Chakravarty, and Gabriele Keller

In Proceedings of Sixteenth International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages (PADL'14), Springer Verlag, LNCS, 2014.

Special purpose embedded languages facilitate generating high-performance code from purely functional high-level code; for example, we want to program highly parallel GPUs without the usual high barrier to entry and the time-consuming development process. We previously demonstrated the feasibility of a skeleton-based, generative approach to compiling such embedded languages.

In this paper, we (a) describe our solution to some of the practical problems with skeleton-based code generation and (b) introduce our approach to enabling interoperability with native code. In particular, we show, in the context of a functional embedded language for GPU programming, how template meta programming simplifies code generation and optimisation. Furthermore, we present our design for a foreign function interface for an embedded language.

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