ał Release 17.04
----------------


Linux support
-------------
The Linux version now requires the libxcb-* family of libraries to be installed.


New targets
-----------
● aiT for e200 now supports SPC58NE84 and SPC58NN84.
● aiT for TriCore now supports TC277.
● aiT for ARM now supports ARM7TDMI and Sharp LH79520 (ARM720T).
● StackAnalyzer and ValueAnalyzer for x86 now support 64-bit x86s.
● A generic TimingProfiler is now available for all targets supported by 
  StackAnalyzer and ValueAnalyzer.


Greatly improved performance
----------------------------
The analysis speed and memory consumption have been improved by streamlining 
the toolchain and reducing the number of required tool runs. Extreme speedups 
are now possible, especially on projects with a large main analysis and 
many smaller subanalyses.


Integrated context-sensitive help
---------------------------------
You can now simply press F1 at any time to get context-sensitive help
for the current screen, a selected keyword, or a highlighted message.

Additionally, the manual’s section on messages has been extended 
with advice on how to handle the most common of them.

The previously separate quick references for graphs and AIS are now 
integrated in this context-sensitive help as well. Simply mark 
an AIS keyword or click anywhere in a graph and then press F1 
to jump straight to the corresponding section in the user manual.

Note: to select and copy an AIS annotation (or any text) from the help window,
use the right mouse button. The left mouse button is currently reserved 
for navigating the page.


Support archives
----------------
In addition to packing the complete project as before, you can now 
choose to only pack the most recent analysis run. This is very fast, 
as no recomputations are needed.


Qualification Support Kits
--------------------------
● New compiler-specific QSK for StackAnalyzer for PowerPC with GCC 4.3.3.
● Additional test cases for StackAnalyzer for PowerPC with GCC 4.1.2.
● New test cases for:

  ○ routine-local increase of call string length
  ○ recursive routine-local increase of default unroll
  ○ marking targets of a computed call infeasible
  ○ propagated stack effect on not-analyzed code that is declared 
    to obey calling conventions
  ○ bound annotations of irreducible recursions and loops
  ○ the new GUI option “Use legacy AIS annotations”

● 26 new test cases for ResultCombinator.
● Consistency checks for XML result and XML report files.
● Additional tool run for checking the AIS2 entries operator within 
  qk_ais2_expression_pp_area operators.
● Requirement identifiers in the reports are now prefixed with REQ_
  to better distinguish them from test case identifiers.
● Tool run execution is now done by calling alauncher rather than the ał GUI.


Workspaces
----------
● Improved open/save performance.
● Additional information is now kept when saving a Workspace, 
  such as the current folding state of the analysis list.


Overhauled examples
-------------------
The provided example projects have been improved to showcase 
more analysis features.


Other improvements
------------------
● In the project tree, all open AIS files of a particular analysis are now 
  grouped together, and can be folded away at once by clicking on the new 
  parent item “AIS files”.
  The parent view itself lists all the AIS files used by the analysis, 
  whether currently open or closed, and lets you open any of them 
  with a double click.

● The Statistics view now includes the (cumulative) contribution 
  of WCET snippets from “evaluated .. as” annotations.

● Improved Memory Usage view: the exact memory consumption is now shown 
  in a tooltip under the mouse cursor.

● ORTI import will not handle _FuncTask vs. FuncTask as duplicated entries 
  and choose one of them.

● Improved handling of source files with relative paths.

● Configuration widgets can now be reset to their original state 
  from the context menu.

● Support for multiple data dictionaries.

● Support for drag&dropping ał project files.

● Improved performance for projects with many analysis items.

● Include paths in the Settings → Sources view are adjusted like other 
  file names when the project is saved.

● In batch mode, the tool now exits with a failure code if invalid (enabled) 
  analysis items have been found.


AIS2
----
● You can now increase the call string length for individual routines: 
    
    # short global callstring
    mapping max length: 1;
 
    # longer local callstrings
    routine "Func2" { mapping max length: 2; }
    routine "Proc1" { mapping max length: inf; }

● You can now set the unrolling for individual recursive routines:

    # local unrolling
    routine "fac" { mapping default unroll: 2; }

● External routines, e.g. trap routines à la "syscall_3", 
  can now be annotated using the match functor:
  
    routine match("syscall_(.*)") {
      obeys calling conventions;
      stack "user" usage: 0 bytes;
      stack "system" usage: 64 bytes;
    }

● Improved handling of "end" annotations in conditional annotation scopes.

● New AIS2 expression to determine the number of entries in an array. 
  Given the C array declaration

    static int dataTable[124];

  the number of entries in the array “dataTable” can be accessed as:
 
    entries("dataTable")

  This can then be used, for example, to bound a loop 
  that iterates over that array:

    loop "processData.L1" bound: entries("dataTable");


Decoding
--------
● DWARF debug information now supports C++ namespaces, template classes 
  and template functions.
  
● The decoder now reports more precisely what it is reading 
  from writable data sections to reconstruct the control flow:

    Reading 4 bytes (0x204) at address 0x24a8 (variable 'arr[1]') 
    from writable section '.data' to reconstruct the control flow.
    You should manually verify the reconstructed control flow.
    Potentially you might need to annotate branch/call targets.

● Improved switch and call pattern resolving 
  by taking the calling conventions into account.

● Function-local static variables can now be addressed in AIS2 
  by means of DWARF debug information. To avoid conflicts with 
  global variables, the name of the enclosing function is prefixed.
  For example, given:

    void handle_msg (...) {
      static int buffer[128];
      ...
    }
    
  the local static variable “buffer” can be addressed 
  via “handle_msg::buffer”.
  
● The decoder now reports if user-provided contents of memory regions
  are located in volatile memory.

● Improved handling of WindRiver code factoring optimization.

● Improved stack pointer guessing.

● Improved iterative decoding performance by not querying 
  stack pointer related register values.

● Message #1050 is now classified as a warning:

    Loop <function.Lx> is specified in AIS as type 'end', 
    but might rather be a 'begin' loop.

● ARM:
  ○ Improved decoding of switch tables.
  ○ Improved handling of compiler library code.
  ○ Improved decoding of computed calls via trampoline routines.
  ○ Improved classification of instructions as call or branch.
  ○ Improved handling of symbols/DWARF entries that have the THUMB 
    instruction set bit set. Now correctly clamped to the next lower 
    address to make them usable for AIS annotations.

● C16x: improved DWARF debug info extraction for the Tasking VX compiler.

● C28x: for the TI compiler, the .econst section is automatically marked 
        as read-only.
        
● PowerPC:
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of computed calls via multiple levels 
    of pointer indirections.
  ○ Improved handling of decoding if multiple binaries are used on VxWorks. 
    slTable jumptable content is guessed based on matching of trampoline 
    call function names.
  ○ Improved stack analysis for CodeWarrior.

● SPARC: improved automatic switch table pattern decoding.

● SuperH: improved automatic decoding of computed control-flow.

● TriCore:
  ○ Improved CSA base guessing.
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of computed calls via multiple levels 
    of pointer indirections.
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of switch and call tables.

● V850:
  ○ GHS: improved ROM small data area pointer guessing.
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of switch and call tables.
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of computed calls via multiple levels 
    of pointer indirections.
  ○ Improved automatic decoding of switch tables via iterative decoding.
  ○ Improved assembly string output of instructions with shifted 
    immediate constants.
  ○ Generally improved decoding of computed calls. 
    Better automatic decoding of computed call tables.


Analysis settings
-----------------
● New option “Use legacy AIS annotations” (under Setup → Decoding). 
  The default is “false” for new projects, “true” for old ones.
  When the option is disabled, all AIS files will be parsed as AIS2, 
  allowing you to use AIS2 annotations freely without the ais2 scope 
  and disabling the legacy AIS1 annotations.
  
● The default for “Assume aligned data accesses” has been changed to “false”.

● ARM: the new default target is now “Generic ARMv7” 
  rather than ”Generic ARMv5“.

● e200: core-local IMEM and DMEM base addresses can now be configured.


Stack and value analysis
------------------------
● Improved analysis speed and memory usage.

● Higher precision for:

  ○ 64-bit multiplication
  ○ loop bound computation
  ○ XOR operations used to compare two operands
  ○ short call string lengths
  ○ calls of mixed types (e.g. normal and tail) to same routine

● Improved loop analysis for:

  ○ loops with complex counter updates
  ○ loops with modulo computations
  ○ multi-exit loops

● Improved heuristics based on DWARF debug information.

● When the option “Use DWARF debug information to restrict memory 
  accesses” is enabled, in addition to the sharpening of the accesses
  it will now try to derive loop bounds. In reports, such bounds will be 
  marked as heuristic matches:
  
    Loop 'mcpy.L2': heuristic matches in all contexts with [2..17] iterations
    (loop is assumed to iterate over array(s) 'buffer')
    
● Improved initialization analysis for:

  ○ writes to sets of adresses
  ○ architectures with paging

● Improved performance of value analysis for larger “Size limit 
  for value sets” values.

● Improved fixed-point iteration performance. This may reduce precision, 
  which can be countered by increasing “default-unroll”, “max-length”, 
  or the widening delay.

● Improved relational domain for XOR relations.

● Better sharpening of the interval domain.

● Unrealistic loop bounds (greater than 2^20) that are caused 
  by analysis artifacts are discarded by the analyzer.
  
● Improved loop bound and value analysis in context of array accesses.

● Use loop analysis information to improve DWARF array heuristic 
  access sharpening.

● MCS51: improved handling of the ACALL, LCALL and RET instructions.

● MSP430: added a heuristic that changes the default unroll parameter to 32 
  for repeat loops. For example, given the repeat loop
  
    rpt r7: addx.w r9, r12 
    
  the analysis will change the local default-unroll settings for the loop 
  and report the change as:
  
    eva-msp430: Info: Local default-unroll settings for loops:
    * Loop 'main.L3' default-unroll = 32 ('repeat loop' heuristic)

● SuperH: improved handling of FPSCR FPU register in value analysis.

● TriCore: introducing a more consistent stack naming, “stack” and “csa” 
  instead of “user” and “system”. Old annotations are still valid.
  
● V850: improved precision of mac and macu instructions.


Cache and pipeline analysis
---------------------------
● e200: improved precision.

● PowerPC: improved handling of synchronization instructions.

● e300/MPC755/MPC755s/PPC750:

  ○ code-duplication support
  ○ improved arbitration between data cache and normal read/store 
    instructions in LSU/BU

● i386: improved chipset simulation in pipelined bus mode.

● XMC4500:

  ○ improved handling of speculative fetches
  ○ initial PSRAM read accesses are delayed by an additional cycle


Path analysis
-------------
● Irreducible recursions can now be bound, quite similarly to reducible 
  recursions, using the syntax

    routine "test" { recursion bound: 0 .. <int>; }
    
  If no annotation is provided, the default recursion bound is used.
  The path analysis phase will write to the report files how this bound 
  is applied.
  
    poptimize2ilp: info: in "test.c", line 16:
    In routine 'f', at address 0x2000:
    Applying recursion bound of 4 to irreducible recursion 'f' 
    comprising the routines:
    * f
    * g
    * h
    Calls from the following routines are considered recursion entries:
    * main

● Irreducible loops within a routine or loop can be bound with

    routine "test" { irreducible bound: 0 .. <int>; }
    
  If no annotation is provided, the default loop bound is used. 
  If you need to prevent that from happening, simply set the bound to inf:
  
    routine "test" { irreducible bound: inf; }


Reports
-------
● The “suppress message” annotation now also suppresses 
  the message in HTML/XML report files.
  
● Failed expected results are now included in HTML reports.

● XML result files now include:

  ○ the number of decoding rounds
  ○ the maximum memory usage in MB 
   (new attribute “analysis_maximum_memory”)

● Reports for additional-start analyses now only mention routines reachable 
  from the corresponding additional start.


Messages
--------
● More messages now have numbers, so that they can be suppressed locally or globally.

● The value analysis now only emits message #3081 about propagating a stack effect
  if the effect in question has an imprecise value.
  
● The error message about unresolved conditional branches is avoided 
  if the branch is guaranteed to not be taken.
  
● Value analysis will now propose “collect <var>” annotations for a separate 
  init analysis to resolve computed control flow:
  
    Info #3156: Annotation hints for init analysis to resolve computed control flow.
    
    ais2 {
      # unresolved computed call ("report_fatal_error" -> computed(1))
      collect initialization: "fatal_error_handler";

      # unresolved computed call ("get_current_time" -> computed(1))
      collect initialization: "get_tick_timer_handler";
    }

● More accurate wording of message #3079 for a not-analyzed routine
  that is annotated as having a stack effect but no stack usage. Example:

    routine "min" {
      not analyzed;
      stack effect: 555 bytes;
    }
    
  The new message now reads:
  
    #3079: Assuming a stack usage of [0..555] bytes for routine 'min'.
    
  The old message would simply say “0 bytes” instead, 
  not accurately reflecting the values the analysis was actually working with.
  
● For external and not analyzed routines, when the analyzer assumes that 
  calling conventions are obeyed, it now also assumes a balanced stack effect.
  The effect is deduced from the calling instruction.
  
  For TriCore, the effect of a ret instruction is simulated if no proper call*, 
  fcall*. jl*, syscall, trapv or trapsv has been used to call the external (or 
  not analyzed) routine, e.g. in case of tail calls.
  As a result, some messages may change from
  
    No assumptions are made on the stack effects for routine 'foo'.
    Annotation hint:
 
      ais2 { routine "_tx_schedule" { obeys calling conventions: false; } }
      
  to 
  
    Assuming a balanced stack effect for routine 'foo'.
    Annotation hint:
    
      ais2 { routine "_tx_schedule" { obeys calling conventions: <bool>; } }

  Not analyzed code snippets are now always classified as violations 
  of calling conventions. Consequently, the following messages will not 
  be emitted anymore:

    warning #3099: In routine ':Anon_0x116e', at address 0x116e:
    No assumptions are made on the stack effects for excluded 
    code snippet ':Anon_0x116e'.
    Annotation hint:

      ais2 { routine ":Anon_0x116e" { obeys calling conventions: false; } }

  The analyzer now informs you if an “obeys calling conventions: true” 
  annotation has been overruled:

    Info #3114: In "foo/main.c", line 12:
    In routine ':Anon_0x8001620', at address thumb::0x8001620:
    In "foo.ais", line 13, column 5:
    The analysis assumes a violation of calling conventions 
    for routine ':Anon_0x8001620'.
    Ignoring annotation that states the opposite.


Graph visualization
-------------------
● Irreducible loops are now marked in a special color.

● Annotation hints have been improved.

● Messages with identical annotation hints are now grouped.

● Recursion groups can now be extracted from the graph 
  and displayed by themselves.
  
● You can now create analyses from routine nodes in call graphs.


ResultCombinator
----------------
● ResultCombinator results are now included in the XML report file.
  The structure of the subtree is:

    <computation_task>
      <computation>
        <expression>...</expression>
        <result>...</result>
        <expectation>success</expectation>
        <messages>
           <message>...</message>
           ...
        </messages>
      </computation>
    </computation_task>

● ResultCombinator is now able to handle analysis groups (addressed 
  via “@groupname”) for min/max functors. This enables easy composition 
  of stack results for multiple analyses:

    max(@StackAnalysisGroup)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last modified on 13 April 2017 by alex@absint.com. Copyright 2017 AbsInt.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An HTML version of these release notes is available at
www.absint.com/releasenotes/a3/17.04