Number of GPRs

Article: ARM Goes 64-bit
By: name99 (name99.delete@this.redheron.com), November 17, 2012 6:37 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Kenneth Jonsson (kj.delete@this.localhost.org) on August 17, 2012 2:41 am wrote:
> Exophase (exophase.delete@this.gmail.com) on August 16, 2012 2:52 pm wrote:

> So to spin the question a bit: what are the downsides of a large number of GPRs? It has to be fairly big
> trade-offs to be made somewhere as very few architectures seem to move beyond 32 GPRs and AMD did for some
> reason settle at 16 GPRs when they designed x86_64. Not a perfect comparison, but the performance difference
> between IA32 and x86_64 is very small so IA32 cannot be held back too much by its lack of GPRs.
>
> One point of reference to compare IA32 vs x86_64 is . Looking at the single
> core results for C and Java show that some things are faster and some things are
> slower on IA32, but the results are with very few exceptions VERY similar.
>
> Sorry for a long post, interesting topic i.m.h.o :)

Let's answer slightly differently.
If you have a modern type of CPU (OoO, superscalar, prediction, all that good stuff) then there is a distinction between the number of PHYSICAL registers and the number of ARCHITECTED (ie expressible in assembly language) registers. The number of physical registers is going to be determined by how aggressively OoO you want your CPU to be, and it is the number of physical registers that determines power, area, cycle times and so on.

Given this, the number of architected registers is essentially free. Going from 16 to 32 costs you an extra bit in each register specification (so 3 bits in most instructions) and that's it. If there is any advantage to increasing the number of architected registers, you might as well do so.

A second way to think about this is in terms of this as a "power" feature, like vector instructions, that will be used by people who know what they are doing, and not otherwise. For example: people who know what they are doing, on entry to a function, IMMEDIATELY load into a local (ie register) variable all globals that will be accessed, along with everything that will be used through a pointer. They do all their calculation in the local variables, then store everything on exit from the function. This style of coding requires a lot more registers to work with, but is also faster. (It's faster because it gets load latency off the critical path, and because it doesn't waste cycles doing things the compiler thinks might be necessary --- writing back globals, writing back instance variables --- but which you know are not, every time they are changed.)

Why isn't the code you profiled showing this sort of thing? The cruel answer would be that there are just not that many people in the world who know what they are doing. A second alternative, which might be partially true, is that the bulk of programmers, and the bulk of code written, grew up with IA-32, not even x64, where this type of programming is not much of a win because of the paucity of registers. Ideally this will change, but we all know that it takes a generation or more for certain habits to die.

Which gets back to my point. Plough-the-fields code will tend not to use half those registers, just like it doesn't use multi-threading or NEON. But performance critical code WILL use these features.
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New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter08/14/12 12:04 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 12:44 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter08/14/12 01:04 AM
    MIPS MT-ASEPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 09:01 AM
      MONITOR/MWAITEduardoS08/14/12 10:08 AM
        MWAIT not specifically MTPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 10:36 AM
          MWAIT not specifically MTEduardoS08/15/12 03:16 PM
        MONITOR/MWAITanonymou508/14/12 11:07 AM
          MONITOR/MWAITEduardoS08/15/12 03:20 PM
      MIPS MT-ASErwessel08/14/12 10:14 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSHK08/14/12 02:01 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 02:37 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRichard Cownie08/14/12 03:57 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 04:29 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 04:44 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 05:28 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 05:32 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS08/14/12 06:06 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 05:40 AM
            AArch64 select better than cmovPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 06:08 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 06:12 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 06:25 AM
                Predicated ld/store are usefulPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 06:48 AM
                  Predicated ld/store are usefulnone08/14/12 06:56 AM
                    Predicated ld/store are usefulanon08/14/12 07:07 AM
                    Predicated stores might not be that badPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 07:27 AM
                      Predicated stores might not be that badDavid Kanter08/15/12 01:14 AM
                        Predicated stores might not be that badMichael S08/15/12 11:41 AM
                        Predicated stores might not be that badR Byron08/17/12 04:09 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 06:54 AM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 07:04 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 07:43 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS08/14/12 06:07 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 06:20 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone08/14/12 06:29 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon08/14/12 07:00 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S08/14/12 03:43 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRichard Cownie08/14/12 06:53 AM
          OT: Conrad's "Youth"Richard Cownie08/14/12 07:20 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS08/14/12 06:04 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitmpx08/14/12 08:59 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitAntti-Ville Tuunainen08/14/12 09:16 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanonymou508/14/12 11:03 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitname9911/17/12 03:31 PM
            Microarchitecting a counter registerPaul A. Clayton11/17/12 07:37 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko08/14/12 04:21 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitname9911/17/12 03:40 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/17/12 04:52 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDoug S11/17/12 05:48 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko11/18/12 05:40 PM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco11/19/12 07:59 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/19/12 08:23 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco11/19/12 09:31 AM
                Downloading µarch-specific binaries?Paul A. Clayton11/19/12 11:21 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/19/12 11:41 AM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco11/21/12 07:44 AM
                    JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)VMguy11/22/12 03:21 AM
                      JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)David Kanter11/22/12 12:12 PM
                        JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)Gabriele Svelto11/23/12 03:50 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/23/12 10:09 AM
                      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE11/26/12 01:24 AM
                        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitGabriele Svelto11/26/12 03:33 AM
                          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE11/27/12 11:17 PM
                            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitGabriele Svelto11/28/12 02:32 AM
                        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/26/12 12:16 PM
                          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE11/28/12 12:33 AM
                            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/28/12 05:53 AM
                              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S11/28/12 06:15 AM
                                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/28/12 07:33 AM
                                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S11/28/12 09:16 AM
                                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/28/12 09:53 AM
                                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEugene Nalimov11/28/12 05:58 PM
                                      Amazing!EduardoS11/28/12 07:25 PM
                                        Amazing! (non-italic response)EduardoS11/28/12 07:25 PM
                                        Amazing!EBFE11/28/12 08:20 PM
                                          Undefined behaviour doubles downEduardoS11/28/12 09:10 PM
                              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE11/28/12 07:54 PM
                                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS11/28/12 09:21 PM
                Have you heard of Transmeta?David Kanter11/19/12 03:47 PM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko11/19/12 09:08 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter11/19/12 03:40 PM
              Semantic Dictionary EncodingRay11/19/12 10:37 PM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRohit11/20/12 04:48 PM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter11/20/12 11:07 PM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco11/21/12 06:41 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter11/21/12 10:12 AM
                    A JIT exampleMark Roulo11/21/12 10:30 AM
                      A JIT exampleWilco11/21/12 07:04 PM
                        A JIT examplerwessel11/21/12 09:05 PM
                        A JIT exampleGabriele Svelto11/23/12 03:53 AM
                        A JIT exampleEduardoS11/23/12 10:13 AM
                          A JIT exampleWilco11/23/12 01:41 PM
                            A JIT exampleEduardoS11/23/12 02:06 PM
                            A JIT exampleGabriele Svelto11/23/12 04:09 PM
                              A JIT exampleSymmetry11/26/12 05:58 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRay11/19/12 10:27 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter08/14/12 09:11 AM
  v7-M is Thumb-onlyPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 06:58 AM
  Minor suggested correctionPaul A. Clayton08/14/12 08:33 AM
    Minor suggested correctionanon08/14/12 08:57 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitExophase08/14/12 08:33 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter08/14/12 09:16 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitjigal08/15/12 01:49 PM
  Correction re ARM and BBC MicroPaul08/14/12 08:59 PM
    Correction re ARM and BBC MicroPer Hesselgren08/15/12 03:27 AM
  Memory BW so lowPer Hesselgren08/15/12 03:14 AM
    Memory BW so lownone08/15/12 11:16 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitdado08/15/12 10:25 AM
  Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson08/16/12 02:35 PM
    Number of GPRsExophase08/16/12 02:52 PM
      Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson08/17/12 02:41 AM
        Ooops, missing link...Kenneth Jonsson08/17/12 02:44 AM
        64-bit pointers eat some performancePaul A. Clayton08/17/12 06:19 AM
          64-bit pointers eat some performancebakaneko08/17/12 08:37 AM
            Brute force seems to workPaul A. Clayton08/17/12 10:08 AM
              Brute force seems to workbakaneko08/17/12 11:15 AM
          64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie08/17/12 08:46 AM
            Pointer compression is atypicalPaul A. Clayton08/17/12 10:43 AM
              Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie08/17/12 12:57 PM
                Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu08/22/12 10:17 PM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie08/23/12 04:48 AM
                    Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu08/23/12 06:51 AM
              Pointer compression is atypicalWilco08/17/12 02:41 PM
                Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie08/17/12 04:13 PM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalRicardo B08/19/12 10:44 AM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu08/22/12 10:08 PM
                    Unified libraries?Paul A. Clayton08/23/12 07:49 AM
                    Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie08/23/12 08:44 AM
                      Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu08/23/12 05:17 PM
                        Pointer compression is atypicalanon08/23/12 08:15 PM
                          Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu08/23/12 09:33 PM
            64-bit pointers eat some performanceFoo_08/18/12 12:09 PM
              64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie08/18/12 05:25 PM
                64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie08/18/12 05:32 PM
            Page-related benefit of small pointersPaul A. Clayton08/23/12 08:36 AM
        Number of GPRsWilco08/17/12 06:31 AM
          Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson08/17/12 11:54 AM
            Number of GPRsExophase08/17/12 12:44 PM
              Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson08/17/12 01:22 PM
                Number of GPRsWilco08/17/12 02:53 PM
        What about dynamic utilization?Exophase08/17/12 09:30 AM
          Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Paul A. Clayton08/17/12 10:20 AM
            Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Exophase08/17/12 11:09 AM
            Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon08/18/12 02:23 AM
              Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Ricardo B08/19/12 11:02 AM
                Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon08/19/12 06:07 PM
                  Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Ricardo B08/19/12 07:26 PM
                    Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon08/19/12 10:03 PM
                      Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon08/20/12 01:59 AM
        Number of GPRsDavid Kanter08/17/12 12:46 PM
          RAT issues as part of reason 1Paul A. Clayton08/17/12 02:18 PM
        Number of GPRsname9911/17/12 06:37 PM
          Large ARFs increase renaming costPaul A. Clayton11/17/12 09:23 PM
    Number of GPRsDavid Kanter08/16/12 03:31 PM
    Number of GPRsRichard Cownie08/16/12 05:17 PM
    32 GPRs ~2-3%Paul A. Clayton08/16/12 06:27 PM
      Oops, Message-ID: aaed6e38-c7bd-467e-ba41-f40cf1020e5e@googlegroups.com (NT)Paul A. Clayton08/16/12 06:29 PM
      32 GPRs ~2-3%Exophase08/16/12 10:06 PM
        R31 as SP/zero is kind of neat (NT)Paul A. Clayton08/17/12 06:23 AM
        32 GPRs ~2-3%rwessel08/17/12 08:24 AM
          32 GPRs ~2-3%Exophase08/17/12 09:16 AM
            32 GPRs ~2-3%Max08/17/12 04:19 PM
      32 GPRs ~2-3%name9911/17/12 07:43 PM
    Number of GPRsmpx08/17/12 01:11 AM
      Latency and powerPaul A. Clayton08/17/12 06:54 AM
    Number of GPRsbakaneko08/17/12 03:09 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSteve08/17/12 02:12 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter08/19/12 12:42 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDoug S08/19/12 02:02 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitAnon08/19/12 07:16 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSteve08/30/12 07:51 AM
  Scalar vs Vector registersRobert David Graham08/19/12 05:19 PM
    Scalar vs Vector registersDavid Kanter08/19/12 05:29 PM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitBaserock ARM servers08/21/12 04:13 PM
    Baserock ARM serversSysanon08/21/12 04:14 PM
    A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Paul A. Clayton08/21/12 06:13 PM
      A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Anon08/21/12 07:13 PM
        Half-depth advantages?Paul A. Clayton08/21/12 08:42 PM
          Half-depth advantages?Anon08/22/12 03:33 PM
            Thanks for the information (NT)Paul A. Clayton08/22/12 04:04 PM
      A-15 virtualization and LPAE?C. Ladisch08/23/12 11:12 AM
        A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Paul08/23/12 03:17 PM
        Excessive pessimismPaul A. Clayton08/23/12 04:08 PM
          Excessive pessimismDavid Kanter08/23/12 05:05 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S08/22/12 07:12 AM
      BTW, Baserock==product, Codethink==company (NT)Paul A. Clayton08/22/12 08:56 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitReinoud Zandijk08/21/12 11:27 PM
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