SPARC Backend Rewrite

August 25, 1998

We are pleased to announce that David Miller has donated a rewrite of the SPARC back end for GCC. This rewrite should improve performance as well as improve long term maintainability of the compiler. Details follow.

1) Improved instruction and delayed branch scheduling for operations
   on "long long" and double float quantities on 32-bit SPARC targets.

   Simple example:

     extern void ll_test1 (long long);

     void example1 (void)
       ll_test1 (0xdeadbeef12345678);

   Here is output from the old compiler:

	sethi %hi(-559038737),%o0
	or %o0,%lo(-559038737),%o0
	sethi %hi(305419896),%o1
	or %o1,%lo(305419896),%o1
	call ll_test1,0
	nop				! Delay slot not filled

   And here is what the new compiler generates:

	sethi	%hi(-559039488), %o0
	sethi	%hi(305419264), %o1
	or	%o0, 751, %o0
	call	ll_test1, 0
	or	%o1, 632, %o1		! Delay slot is filled

2) Address and constant formation vastly improved on 64-bit SPARC
   targets.  These are the two main areas where the previous 64-bit
   SPARC support was totally lacking.  Here are some amusing examples
   of the improved constant formation support on sparc64:

   unsigned long t1(void) { return 0xffc0000000000000; }

	sethi %hi(-4194304),%o0
	sllx %o0,32,%o0
	add %o0,%lo(0),%o0		! Spurious instruction
	mov	-1, %o0
	sllx	%o0, 54, %o0

   unsigned long t2(void) { return 0x000001ffffffffff; }

   /* Hard coded temporary reg (%g1) which prevents CSE,
      plus a double instruction sequence which cannot be
      scheduled into a delay slot.  */
	mov 511,%o0
	sllx %o0,32,%o0
	sethi %hi(-1),%g1; or %o0,%g1,%o0
	add %o0,%lo(-1),%o0

   /* No temporary at all, all instructions schedulable
      and full CSE can happen for all intermediate values.  */
	mov	-1, %o0
	srlx	%o0, 23, %o0

   unsigned long t3(void) { return 0x2300000000000000; }

	sethi %hi(587202560),%o0
	sllx %o0,32,%o0
	add %o0,%lo(0),%o0		! Again, spurious instruction

	mov	35, %o0
	sllx	%o0, 56, %o0

   unsigned long t5(void) { return 0xffffffffdeadbeef; }

   /* Again, hard coded temporary, unschedulable instruction
      sequence, 4 instructions total.  */
	mov -1,%o0
	sllx %o0,32,%o0
	sethi %hi(-559038737),%g1; or %o0,%g1,%o0
	add %o0,%lo(-559038737),%o0

   /* No temporaries, fully CSE'able, all insns schedulable,
      2 instructions total.  */
	sethi	%hi(559038464), %o0
	xor	%o0, -273, %o0

   unsigned long t7(void) { return 0xffcfffffffffffff; }

   /* Hard coded temporary, 5 instructions.  */
	sethi %hi(-3145729),%o0
	or %o0,%lo(-3145729),%o0
	sllx %o0,32,%o0
	sethi %hi(-1),%g1; or %o0,%g1,%o0
	add %o0,%lo(-1),%o0

   /* No hard coded temporaries, 3 instructions.  */
	mov	3, %o0
	sllx	%o0, 52, %o0
	xnor	%g0, %o0, %o0

3) Full support for nearly all features of the new 64-bit SPARC ELF V9
   ABI.  This includes support for all meaningful code models,
   including MediumLow, MediumMiddle, MediunAny (both old and new for
   backwards compatibility with older GCC versions), and 32bit.

4) Tremendously improved support for instruction level parallelism on
   UltraSPARC.  Using some new pieces of infrastructure added to
   the Haifa scheduler recently, the SPARC back end can now achieve
   higher levels of instruction issue per cycle on UltraSPARC than
   has ever been possible before.

   Common problems previously were in cases where interlocking and
   slotting rules of the UltraSPARC could not be accurately described
   to the compiler.  Here are a few examples:

   a) On the UltraSPARC, two integer ALU operations can issue per
      cycle.  Only one can be a shift, and if the other non-shift
      integer instruction is not one which sets the condition codes
      then the shift must come first in order to get dual issue.
      For example:

          add	%o0, 1, %o0
	  srlx	%o1, 1, %o1

      The old scheduler would think these instructions would issue
      together on UltraSPARC, even though it does not.  The new
      UltraSPARC scheduling support will correctly move the shift
      before the add so they do in fact issue together in a single

   b) In order to get full 4-issue per cycle on UltraSPARC, the
      fourth instruction in the instruction group must be either
      a conditional branch or a floating point instruction.
      At best we previously could only tell the Haifa scheduler that
      we had 2 FPU units, and 2 Integer units, yet not special
      issuing rules such as this one.  So consider a case where 2
      integer and 2 FPU instructions could be issued this cycle,
      Haifa often would not get full 4 issue such as:

          add	  %o0, 1, %o0
	  faddd	  %f0, %f2, %f0
	  fmuld	  %f4, %f6, %f4
	  srlx	  %o1, 1, %o1

      Here Haifa has made two mistakes due to lack of information.
      Firstly it missed the "shift/ialu" ordering rule mentioned
      above, secondly it placed the integer instruction in the
      fourth slot.  Haifa would get 3 issue in this case.  The new
      UltraSPARC scheduling support will instead output:

	  srlx	  %o1, 1, %o1
          add	  %o0, 1, %o0
	  faddd	  %f0, %f2, %f0
	  fmuld	  %f4, %f6, %f4

      Which obtains a full 4 issue cycle on UltraSPARC.

5) More efficient switch jump table scheme for PIC code on sparc32.
   Previously a single RTL pattern which generated multiple
   instructions was used by the SPARC port to load label addresses
   when generating position-independent code.  Now, jump tables are
   output after the function and the label address loading sequence
   is described fully in RTL for each sub-operation involved.  This
   requires not only less instructions, but now all such instructions
   are subject to possible instruction and branch delay scheduling.
   This work was done by Richard Henderson and
   similar techniques will be incorporated into the sparc64 support
   code as well.

6) Nearly all operations ever generated by the SPARC back end are
   described with a single RTL pattern which generates a single
   SPARC instruction.  This is important for delay slot and
   instruction level scheduling.

7) There are no more hard coded hard registers used in the
   RTL generated by the SPARC back end.  The only exceptions to
   this which remain are unavoidable cases such as for argument
   passing semantics and for the PIC base register (the latter can
   actually be eliminated, and this is a planned future enhancement).

   Hard coded registers in RTL prevent many optimizations, in
   particular it prevents many forms of common subexpression

8) HIGH and LO_SUM sequences are no longer used to implement
   constant formation, even on 32-bit targets.  This prevented
   the compiler from "seeing" many things about what the instructions
   performing the constant formation actually were doing at each
   step.  Here is an example:

   	x = 0x12345678;

   The SPARC has one instruction which loads the high 22 bits
   of a 32-bit constant (without sign extension when considering
   64-bit registers) into a register, the rest can be OR'd in
   with another instruction.  The old compiler would output:

   	sethi	%hi(0x12345678), %o0
	or	%o0, %lo(0x12345678), %o0

   The compiler can't say much about what each instruction does
   while optimizing.  At best it can say that:

   a) The first instruction sets "some unspecified number of
      high bits of 0x12345678" into register %o0
   b) The second instruction adds "some unspecified number
      of low bits of 0x12345678" to register %o0

   The new SPARC back end will output code which tells the optimizer
   exactly what is going on in each instruction, and also generate
   a temporary for the sake of common subexpression detection:

   	sethi  %hi(0x12345400), %o1
	or     %o1, 0x278, %o0

   Now the compiler can clearly see that:

   a) After the first instruction, 0x12345400 will be available
      in register %o1
   b) The second instruction OR's 0x278 into %o1 and leaves the
      result (0x12345678) in %o0.

   With this knowledge some transformations previously not possible
   can and will be performed.  Here is a silly example just so you
   get the idea:

   extern void test1(int x);

   int test2(void)
	return 0x12345400;

   The old compiler will output:

	save %sp,-104,%sp
	sethi %hi(305419896),%o0
	call test1,0
	or %o0,%lo(305419896),%o0
	sethi %hi(305419264),%i0

   And the new one will produce:

	save	%sp, -104, %sp
	sethi	%hi(305419264), %i0
	call	test1, 0
	or	%i0, 632, %o0

9) The assembler output is more pretty :-)