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Caching make

From: Pete Johnson
Subject: Caching make
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 10:59:55 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (Windows/20041206)

I am using make for IC design builds. Our tool flows typically involve dozens of different tools and compile chains of up to 20 steps. Much more complicated than the typical software flow. Some steps (like design synthesis) can take up to a day to run.

To avoid accidentally triggering a recompile that could last a day, we generally code the Makefile to allow dependencies to be switched in and out using a variable defined on the command line. This generally works well. However, for some targets which only require a few minutes to build, this is undesirable. Too much manual intervention is required to deal with this.

What would be useful is a cache. The idea is that targets could be saved along with a checksum of the dependency files. Future compile steps could be avoided by comparing the checksums of dependencies against previous builds and then just copying the cached target file if everything matched.

I have looked at CCache but this is C specific.

Does anyone have recommendations about how to set something like this up in GNU Make? Has this been done before?



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