MediaTek hopes to bring nanoMIPS support upstream in GCC

The nanoMIPS architecture that was announced by MIPS in 2018 for embedded devices to reduce power consumption and produce smaller code fingerprints was announced for the MIPS I7200, but since then there has been no not had a lot of nanoMIPS. However, MediaTek is now looking to contribute upstream compiler support for this ISA processor in GCC.

The MIPS architecture itself is now abandoned upstream to focus on RISC-V. MIPS Technologies previously tried unsuccessfully (never finished) to get nanoMIPS support in the upstream GCC compiler, but instead relying on their toolchain out of the tree. MediaTek is now working on support for the nanoMIPS compiler. MediaTek engineers did not explain why in 2021 they were working on nanoMIPS support for the upstream GCC, but this is likely due to the fact that they still rely on this ISA in the processors of control of their modems.

This first set of fixes for nanoMIPS for the GNU Collect compiler was posted on Sunday. Coupled with the newlib / binutils / gold code out of the MediaTek tree, it suffices to produce a functional nanomips-elf toolchain. The code itself is still tentative with some open design questions about MIPS vs nanoMIPS code sharing in GCC, but now we’ll see if there is enough effort to get the backward support even with waning interest. for the (nano) MIPS.

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