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 Kanter2012/08/14 12:04 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 12:44 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/08/14 01:04 AM
    MIPS MT-ASEPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 09:01 AM
      MONITOR/MWAITEduardoS2012/08/14 10:08 AM
        MWAIT not specifically MTPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 10:36 AM
          MWAIT not specifically MTEduardoS2012/08/15 03:16 PM
        MONITOR/MWAITanonymou52012/08/14 11:07 AM
          MONITOR/MWAITEduardoS2012/08/15 03:20 PM
      MIPS MT-ASErwessel2012/08/14 10:14 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSHK2012/08/14 02:01 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 02:37 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRichard Cownie2012/08/14 03:57 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 04:29 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 04:44 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 05:28 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 05:32 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/08/14 06:06 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 05:40 AM
            AArch64 select better than cmovPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 06:08 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 06:12 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 06:25 AM
                Predicated ld/store are usefulPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 06:48 AM
                  Predicated ld/store are usefulnone2012/08/14 06:56 AM
                    Predicated ld/store are usefulanon2012/08/14 07:07 AM
                    Predicated stores might not be that badPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 07:27 AM
                      Predicated stores might not be that badDavid Kanter2012/08/15 01:14 AM
                        Predicated stores might not be that badMichael S2012/08/15 11:41 AM
                        Predicated stores might not be that badR Byron2012/08/17 04:09 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 06:54 AM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 07:04 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 07:43 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/08/14 06:07 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 06:20 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitnone2012/08/14 06:29 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanon2012/08/14 07:00 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S2012/08/14 03:43 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRichard Cownie2012/08/14 06:53 AM
          OT: Conrad's "Youth"Richard Cownie2012/08/14 07:20 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/08/14 06:04 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitmpx2012/08/14 08:59 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitAntti-Ville Tuunainen2012/08/14 09:16 AM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitanonymou52012/08/14 11:03 AM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitname992012/11/17 03:31 PM
            Microarchitecting a counter registerPaul A. Clayton2012/11/17 07:37 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko2012/08/14 04:21 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitname992012/11/17 03:40 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/17 04:52 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDoug S2012/11/17 05:48 PM
        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko2012/11/18 05:40 PM
          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco2012/11/19 07:59 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/19 08:23 AM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco2012/11/19 09:31 AM
                Downloading µarch-specific binaries?Paul A. Clayton2012/11/19 11:21 AM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/19 11:41 AM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco2012/11/21 07:44 AM
                    JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)VMguy2012/11/22 03:21 AM
                      JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)David Kanter2012/11/22 12:12 PM
                        JIT vs. static compilation (Was: New Article: ARM Goes 64-bit)Gabriele Svelto2012/11/23 03:50 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/23 10:09 AM
                      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE2012/11/26 01:24 AM
                        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitGabriele Svelto2012/11/26 03:33 AM
                          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE2012/11/27 11:17 PM
                            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitGabriele Svelto2012/11/28 02:32 AM
                        New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/26 12:16 PM
                          New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE2012/11/28 12:33 AM
                            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/28 05:53 AM
                              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S2012/11/28 06:15 AM
                                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/28 07:33 AM
                                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S2012/11/28 09:16 AM
                                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/28 09:53 AM
                                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEugene Nalimov2012/11/28 05:58 PM
                                      Amazing!EduardoS2012/11/28 07:25 PM
                                        Amazing! (non-italic response)EduardoS2012/11/28 07:25 PM
                                        Amazing!EBFE2012/11/28 08:20 PM
                                          Undefined behaviour doubles downEduardoS2012/11/28 09:10 PM
                              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEBFE2012/11/28 07:54 PM
                                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitEduardoS2012/11/28 09:21 PM
                Have you heard of Transmeta?David Kanter2012/11/19 03:47 PM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitbakaneko2012/11/19 09:08 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/11/19 03:40 PM
              Semantic Dictionary EncodingRay2012/11/19 10:37 PM
              New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRohit2012/11/20 04:48 PM
                New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/11/20 11:07 PM
                  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitWilco2012/11/21 06:41 AM
                    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/11/21 10:12 AM
                    A JIT exampleMark Roulo2012/11/21 10:30 AM
                      A JIT exampleWilco2012/11/21 07:04 PM
                        A JIT examplerwessel2012/11/21 09:05 PM
                        A JIT exampleGabriele Svelto2012/11/23 03:53 AM
                        A JIT exampleEduardoS2012/11/23 10:13 AM
                          A JIT exampleWilco2012/11/23 01:41 PM
                            A JIT exampleEduardoS2012/11/23 02:06 PM
                            A JIT exampleGabriele Svelto2012/11/23 04:09 PM
                              A JIT exampleSymmetry2012/11/26 05:58 AM
            New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitRay2012/11/19 10:27 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/08/14 09:11 AM
  v7-M is Thumb-onlyPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 06:58 AM
  Minor suggested correctionPaul A. Clayton2012/08/14 08:33 AM
    Minor suggested correctionanon2012/08/14 08:57 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitExophase2012/08/14 08:33 AM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/08/14 09:16 AM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitjigal2012/08/15 01:49 PM
  Correction re ARM and BBC MicroPaul2012/08/14 08:59 PM
    Correction re ARM and BBC MicroPer Hesselgren2012/08/15 03:27 AM
  Memory BW so lowPer Hesselgren2012/08/15 03:14 AM
    Memory BW so lownone2012/08/15 11:16 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitdado2012/08/15 10:25 AM
  Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson2012/08/16 02:35 PM
    Number of GPRsExophase2012/08/16 02:52 PM
      Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson2012/08/17 02:41 AM
        Ooops, missing link...Kenneth Jonsson2012/08/17 02:44 AM
        64-bit pointers eat some performancePaul A. Clayton2012/08/17 06:19 AM
          64-bit pointers eat some performancebakaneko2012/08/17 08:37 AM
            Brute force seems to workPaul A. Clayton2012/08/17 10:08 AM
              Brute force seems to workbakaneko2012/08/17 11:15 AM
          64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie2012/08/17 08:46 AM
            Pointer compression is atypicalPaul A. Clayton2012/08/17 10:43 AM
              Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie2012/08/17 12:57 PM
                Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu2012/08/22 10:17 PM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie2012/08/23 04:48 AM
                    Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu2012/08/23 06:51 AM
              Pointer compression is atypicalWilco2012/08/17 02:41 PM
                Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie2012/08/17 04:13 PM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalRicardo B2012/08/19 10:44 AM
                  Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu2012/08/22 10:08 PM
                    Unified libraries?Paul A. Clayton2012/08/23 07:49 AM
                    Pointer compression is atypicalRichard Cownie2012/08/23 08:44 AM
                      Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu2012/08/23 05:17 PM
                        Pointer compression is atypicalanon2012/08/23 08:15 PM
                          Pointer compression is atypicalHoward Chu2012/08/23 09:33 PM
            64-bit pointers eat some performanceFoo_2012/08/18 12:09 PM
              64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie2012/08/18 05:25 PM
                64-bit pointers eat some performanceRichard Cownie2012/08/18 05:32 PM
            Page-related benefit of small pointersPaul A. Clayton2012/08/23 08:36 AM
        Number of GPRsWilco2012/08/17 06:31 AM
          Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson2012/08/17 11:54 AM
            Number of GPRsExophase2012/08/17 12:44 PM
              Number of GPRsKenneth Jonsson2012/08/17 01:22 PM
                Number of GPRsWilco2012/08/17 02:53 PM
        What about dynamic utilization?Exophase2012/08/17 09:30 AM
          Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Paul A. Clayton2012/08/17 10:20 AM
            Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Exophase2012/08/17 11:09 AM
            Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon2012/08/18 02:23 AM
              Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Ricardo B2012/08/19 11:02 AM
                Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon2012/08/19 06:07 PM
                  Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?Ricardo B2012/08/19 07:26 PM
                    Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon2012/08/19 10:03 PM
                      Compiler vs. assembly aliasing knowledge?anon2012/08/20 01:59 AM
        Number of GPRsDavid Kanter2012/08/17 12:46 PM
          RAT issues as part of reason 1Paul A. Clayton2012/08/17 02:18 PM
        Number of GPRsname992012/11/17 06:37 PM
          Large ARFs increase renaming costPaul A. Clayton2012/11/17 09:23 PM
    Number of GPRsDavid Kanter2012/08/16 03:31 PM
    Number of GPRsRichard Cownie2012/08/16 05:17 PM
    32 GPRs ~2-3%Paul A. Clayton2012/08/16 06:27 PM
      Oops, Message-ID: aaed6e38-c7bd-467e-ba41-f40cf1020e5e@googlegroups.com (NT)Paul A. Clayton2012/08/16 06:29 PM
      32 GPRs ~2-3%Exophase2012/08/16 10:06 PM
        R31 as SP/zero is kind of neat (NT)Paul A. Clayton2012/08/17 06:23 AM
        32 GPRs ~2-3%rwessel2012/08/17 08:24 AM
          32 GPRs ~2-3%Exophase2012/08/17 09:16 AM
            32 GPRs ~2-3%Max2012/08/17 04:19 PM
      32 GPRs ~2-3%name992012/11/17 07:43 PM
    Number of GPRsmpx2012/08/17 01:11 AM
      Latency and powerPaul A. Clayton2012/08/17 06:54 AM
    Number of GPRsbakaneko2012/08/17 03:09 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSteve2012/08/17 02:12 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDavid Kanter2012/08/19 12:42 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitDoug S2012/08/19 02:02 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitAnon2012/08/19 07:16 PM
      New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitSteve2012/08/30 07:51 AM
  Scalar vs Vector registersRobert David Graham2012/08/19 05:19 PM
    Scalar vs Vector registersDavid Kanter2012/08/19 05:29 PM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitBaserock ARM servers2012/08/21 04:13 PM
    Baserock ARM serversSysanon2012/08/21 04:14 PM
    A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Paul A. Clayton2012/08/21 06:13 PM
      A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Anon2012/08/21 07:13 PM
        Half-depth advantages?Paul A. Clayton2012/08/21 08:42 PM
          Half-depth advantages?Anon2012/08/22 03:33 PM
            Thanks for the information (NT)Paul A. Clayton2012/08/22 04:04 PM
      A-15 virtualization and LPAE?C. Ladisch2012/08/23 11:12 AM
        A-15 virtualization and LPAE?Paul2012/08/23 03:17 PM
        Excessive pessimismPaul A. Clayton2012/08/23 04:08 PM
          Excessive pessimismDavid Kanter2012/08/23 05:05 PM
    New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitMichael S2012/08/22 07:12 AM
      BTW, Baserock==product, Codethink==company (NT)Paul A. Clayton2012/08/22 08:56 AM
  New Article: ARM Goes 64-bitReinoud Zandijk2012/08/21 11:27 PM
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