ARMv8 cleanliness

Article: Microservers must Specialize to Survive
By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), February 15, 2013 5:34 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Wilco (Wilco.Dijkstra.delete@this.ntlworld.com) on February 15, 2013 5:46 pm wrote:
>
> That's a good tradeoff, but you need 3 extra bits on compares of course

It's worse than that. You'll want to do subtract-and-test, bitops, yadda yadda. Compare really isn't even close to complete. Otherwise you'll just end up playing games with other arithmetic-logical ops to then be able to compare the result. Which is *not* an improvement, no matter how some people would want to twist it,

The whole "decrement loop counter and test" is common enough to merit special logic (sometimes to the point of having special loop registers, like powerpc).

The thing is, the traditional "just have a flags register" really is hard to beat. People have tried, and people have inevitably failed. Not a single architecture has ever done better than that. I don't understand why people try so hard.

And no, reducing the flag register to a single bit isn't a win either.

Seriously, why would it be? It just shifts the decoding bits around by a tiny amount, and not in a good way. The only reason to think it's an advantage is if you have an overly restrictive decoder, so that for some particular instruction encoding the "shift bits around" can be seen as a good thing.

But while it can be a win for some particular encoding model, it's a *bad* thing in general. It just makes it much harder to do all the things people use flags for. Yes, that includes carry, but it also includes "test against zero and negative at the same time" etc etc.

People really do that - small case-statements turn into "test against an exact match of one value, and larger-than and smaller-than AT THE SAME TIME". And it's totally natural and correct to do with a flags register, and anybody who disputes that is just in denial.

So "one bit of flags" is just a sign of working around particular bitpattern encoding issues rather than "it's actually a good thing". It's a *bad* thing. You want at least three bits for the conditionals probably four or five bits of flags total (depending a bit on whether you care to encode overflow separately etc).

There's a reason a lot of architectures used flags and made it possible to set them in most arithmetic ops. It's flexible and powerful, and you really do want them for most arithmetic ops. And doing it unconditionally for pretty much everything (like x86 does) is an actual encoding space advantage, even if some people will have a hard time admitting that, and will want to have the extra "enable" bit for it.

Linus
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Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveDavid Kanter2013/01/28 12:47 PM
  Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveRichard Cownie2013/01/29 03:42 AM
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              Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveMichael S2013/01/30 01:06 AM
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                FRU type and granularity selectionPaul A. Clayton2013/01/30 01:29 PM
                  FRU type and granularity selectionrwessel2013/01/30 03:00 PM
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                Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveMaynard Handley2013/02/13 01:46 PM
                  Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveDavid Kanter2013/02/16 02:16 PM
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          Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to Survivebakaneko2013/01/29 01:18 PM
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                                                                ASP estimatesRichard Cownie2013/02/02 05:07 PM
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                                                                    ASP estimatesRichard Cownie2013/02/02 06:04 PM
                                                                      ASP estimatesanon2013/02/02 09:19 PM
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                                                                      ASP estimatesMichael S2013/02/03 01:51 AM
                                                                        ASP estimatesRichard Cownie2013/02/03 05:10 AM
                                                                          ASP estimatesDaniel Bizo2013/02/04 02:45 PM
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                                                                              ASP estimatesJS2013/02/05 03:25 AM
                                                                              ASP estimatesDaniel Bizo2013/02/05 05:31 AM
                                                                                ASP estimatesRichard Cownie2013/02/05 05:46 AM
                                                                  ARM OEMs get free silicon?someone2013/02/03 12:44 PM
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                                                                      ARM OEMs get free silicon?Doug S2013/02/04 10:08 AM
                                                                        ARM OEMs get free silicon?Richard Cownie2013/02/04 11:17 AM
                                                                          ARM OEMs get free silicon?geeker2013/02/06 11:16 AM
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                                                                              ARM OEMs get free silicon?izotop2013/02/07 05:11 AM
                                                                            ARM OEMs get free silicon?Richard Cownie2013/02/07 05:48 AM
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          Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveRichard Cownie2013/01/30 01:39 PM
            Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to Surviverwessel2013/01/30 02:54 PM
          Or compare to *desktop* ASPsMark Roulo2013/01/30 02:51 PM
            Or compare to *desktop* ASPsrwessel2013/01/30 03:07 PM
            Or compare to *desktop* ASPsCeleron2013/01/30 04:49 PM
            Or compare to *desktop* ASPsDoug S2013/01/30 08:50 PM
              Or compare to *desktop* ASPsrwessel2013/01/30 10:04 PM
              when thoughput matters, ultra-cheap Intel CPUs are not attractiveMichael S2013/01/31 01:59 AM
                when thoughput matters, ultra-cheap Intel CPUs are not attractiveDoug S2013/01/31 11:00 AM
                  when thoughput matters, ultra-cheap Intel CPUs are not attractiveMichael S2013/01/31 01:04 PM
                    Price/perf curve on intel.Jouni Osmala2013/01/31 10:28 PM
                    when thoughput matters, ultra-cheap Intel CPUs are not attractiveDoug S2013/02/01 03:45 PM
                      when thoughput matters, ultra-cheap Intel CPUs are not attractiverwessel2013/02/02 12:54 AM
              Or compare to *desktop* ASPsGabriele Svelto2013/01/31 02:33 AM
    Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveDoug S2013/01/29 09:36 AM
      Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveDavid Kanter2013/01/29 12:52 PM
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        Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurviveNo2013/01/29 02:32 PM
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    Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to Survivebakaneko2013/01/30 12:32 AM
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        Cache size experiments may have been done on ARMsMark Roulo2013/01/30 01:14 PM
          Way and line locking and associativityPaul A. Clayton2013/01/30 02:08 PM
            Way and line locking and associativityMark Roulo2013/01/30 02:37 PM
        Cache capacity benefits may have been done in simulationPatrick Chase2013/01/30 06:25 PM
          Simulation has benefits but is SLOWPaul A. Clayton2013/01/30 08:08 PM
            Simulation has benefits but is SLOWPatrick Chase2013/01/30 09:36 PM
              Simulation has benefits but is SLOWRichard Cownie2013/02/01 11:32 AM
                Simulation has benefits but is SLOWPatrick Chase2013/02/01 12:06 PM
                Simulation has benefits but is SLOWnone2013/02/01 12:13 PM
      Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to Survivesoupdragon2013/01/31 11:02 AM
    Article Online: Microservers must Specialize to SurvivePatrick Chase2013/01/30 11:26 AM
  4x or 10x advantageS. Rao2013/01/30 04:35 PM
    4x or 10x advantagerwessel2013/01/30 05:32 PM
      4x or 10x advantageS. Rao2013/02/03 09:32 PM
        4x or 10x advantageDavid Kanter2013/02/03 10:09 PM
        4x or 10x advantagerwessel2013/02/03 11:08 PM
          x86_64Richard Cownie2013/02/04 04:52 PM
            x86_64Michael S2013/02/05 01:51 AM
              x86_64Richard Cownie2013/02/05 03:33 AM
                x86_64EduardoS2013/02/05 03:41 AM
                  x86_64sJ2013/02/05 04:52 AM
                  x86_64Richard Cownie2013/02/05 05:47 AM
                x86_64someone2013/02/05 08:22 AM
                  x86_64Richard Cownie2013/02/05 08:44 AM
              "Just recompile"Mark Roulo2013/02/05 07:40 AM
                "Just recompile"Michael S2013/02/05 09:35 AM
                  "Just recompile"Mark Roulo2013/02/05 09:55 AM
  Virtualization and custom interconnectsGabriele Svelto2013/01/31 04:05 AM
  x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/01 09:11 PM
    x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturempx2013/02/02 03:31 AM
      x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/02 08:27 AM
        Heterogenous multicore in serversPaul A. Clayton2013/02/02 09:25 AM
    x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureanon2013/02/02 04:04 AM
      x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/02 08:42 AM
        x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/02 08:58 AM
        x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/02 09:26 AM
        x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureanon2013/02/02 04:49 PM
          x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePer Hesselgren2013/02/03 12:44 AM
            x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureMichael S2013/02/03 01:59 AM
          x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/03 01:27 PM
            x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureanon2013/02/03 01:58 PM
              x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/03 02:35 PM
                x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/03 02:39 PM
                x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureanon2013/02/03 05:08 PM
                  x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/03 07:05 PM
                    x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureanon2013/02/03 08:52 PM
                      x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitectureDavid Kanter2013/02/03 10:23 PM
                        U shape curve on performance...Jouni Osmala2013/02/04 12:07 AM
                          U shape curve on performance...none2013/02/04 02:03 AM
                            U shape curve on performance...Michael S2013/02/04 06:55 AM
                              U shape curve on performance...Patrick Chase2013/02/04 09:14 AM
                                U shape curve on performance...Michael S2013/02/04 01:43 PM
                                  U shape curve on performance...Patrick Chase2013/02/04 03:06 PM
                            Microcode can be usefulPaul A. Clayton2013/02/04 07:08 AM
                          U shape curve on performance...Michael S2013/02/04 06:48 AM
                          U shape curve on performance...Patrick Chase2013/02/04 09:05 AM
                            It only works if ... ??Paul A. Clayton2013/02/04 11:20 AM
                              It only works if ... ??Patrick Chase2013/02/04 11:48 AM
                                It only works if ... ??Patrick Chase2013/02/04 12:02 PM
                                It only works if ... ??Patrick Chase2013/02/04 12:08 PM
                                  It only works if ... ??Patrick Chase2013/02/04 12:15 PM
                                  It only works if ... ??anon2013/02/04 04:45 PM
                            I don't follow...Megol2013/02/05 09:16 AM
                      x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturerwessel2013/02/03 11:28 PM
            spec95 vs Spec2kMichael S2013/02/04 01:27 AM
              spec95 vs Spec2kPer Hesselgren2013/02/04 03:42 AM
              spec95 vs Spec2kbakaneko2013/02/04 03:48 AM
                correct linksMichael S2013/02/04 05:10 AM
              spec95 vs Spec2kPatrick Chase2013/02/04 10:47 AM
                spec95 vs Spec2kPatrick Chase2013/02/04 10:55 AM
                  spec95 vs Spec2kMichael S2013/02/04 12:39 PM
                    spec95 vs Spec2kPatrick Chase2013/02/04 01:07 PM
                    spec95 vs Spec2knone2013/02/04 03:28 PM
                      spec95 vs Spec2kMichael S2013/02/05 01:35 AM
                spec95 vs Spec2kMichael S2013/02/04 12:50 PM
                spec95 vs Spec2k (hair-splitting)Kira2013/02/04 02:26 PM
    x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturenone2013/02/02 04:33 AM
      x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturePatrick Chase2013/02/02 09:11 AM
        x86 penalty depends on performance and microarchitecturenone2013/02/02 09:43 AM
          Cortex A9 ROBPatrick Chase2013/02/02 12:13 PM
            Cortex A9 ROBPatrick Chase2013/02/02 01:01 PM
              Cortex A9 ROBnone2013/02/04 03:12 PM
                Cortex A9 ROBPatrick Chase2013/02/04 03:43 PM
                  Cortex A9 ROBnone2013/02/04 03:58 PM
    ARM diversity might be an advantagePaul A. Clayton2013/02/02 10:10 AM
      ARM diversity might be an advantagePatrick Chase2013/02/03 03:29 PM
        ARMv8 cleanlinessanon2013/02/03 05:11 PM
          ARMv8 cleanlinessPatrick Chase2013/02/03 06:40 PM
            Does AArch64 not support table node page sizes?Paul A. Clayton2013/02/03 08:40 PM
              Does AArch64 not support table node page sizes?Patrick Chase2013/02/03 09:14 PM
                Does AArch64 not support table node page sizes?none2013/02/04 01:55 AM
              LPAE supports 2MiB and 1 GiB blocksPaul A. Clayton2013/02/03 09:52 PM
            ARMv8 cleanlinessanon2013/02/03 09:06 PM
              ARMv8 cleanlinessrwessel2013/02/03 11:37 PM
                ARMv8 cleanlinessMichael S2013/02/04 12:50 AM
              ARMv8 cleanlinessEtienne2013/02/04 07:01 AM
                Similar to Thumb If-Then instructionPaul A. Clayton2013/02/04 07:43 AM
                  Similar to Thumb If-Then instructionEtienne2013/02/05 06:22 AM
                ARMv8 cleanlinessJouni Osmala2013/02/04 10:15 PM
                  ARMv8 cleanlinessEtienne2013/02/05 05:57 AM
                    ARMv8 cleanlinessJouni Osmala2013/02/05 06:59 AM
                      ARMv8 cleanlinessEtienne2013/02/05 07:55 AM
              ARMv8 cleanlinessMaynard Handley2013/02/13 02:53 PM
                ARMv8 cleanlinessGabriele Svelto2013/02/14 12:37 AM
                ARMv8 cleanlinessEtienne2013/02/14 05:00 AM
                  ARMv8 cleanlinessrwessel2013/02/14 03:03 PM
                ARMv8 cleanlinessSeni2013/02/14 06:45 AM
                  ARMv8 cleanlinessrwessel2013/02/14 03:14 PM
                    ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/14 03:44 PM
                      ARMv8 cleanlinessGabriele Svelto2013/02/15 01:28 AM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessEduardoS2013/02/15 09:45 AM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessMax2013/02/15 12:24 PM
                          ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/15 04:46 PM
                            ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/15 05:34 PM
                              ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/17 12:47 PM
                                ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/17 03:08 PM
                                  ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/18 04:14 PM
                                    ARMv8 cleanlinessanon2013/02/19 12:56 AM
                                      ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/19 01:20 PM
                                    ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/19 09:13 AM
                                      ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/19 01:10 PM
                                        ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/19 05:16 PM
                                          ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/19 05:41 PM
                                            ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/25 05:05 AM
                                              ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/25 05:22 PM
                                                ARMv8 cleanlinessnone2013/02/26 12:31 AM
                                                  ARMv8 cleanlinessMichael S2013/02/26 04:05 AM
                                                ARMv8 cleanlinessDavid Hess2013/02/26 10:01 PM
                                                  ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/27 10:22 AM
                                                    ARMv8 cleanlinessDavid Hess2013/03/01 12:58 PM
                                                      What is wrong with ARM?Paul A. Clayton2013/03/01 05:56 PM
                                                        What is wrong with ARM?David Hess2013/03/01 06:49 PM
                                                          What is wrong with ARM?Michael S2013/03/02 04:11 PM
                                                            What is wrong with ARM?David Hess2013/03/03 10:32 PM
                                                              What is wrong with ARM?Michael S2013/03/04 01:05 AM
                                                        What is wrong with ARM?David Hess2013/03/07 05:30 PM
                                                          Thank you very much!Paul A. Clayton2013/03/07 06:59 PM
                                                            Thank you very much!David Hess2013/03/07 10:22 PM
                                                              Thank you very much!gallier22013/03/08 12:43 AM
                                                                Thank you very much!David Hess2013/03/08 10:24 AM
                                                                  Thank you very much!Ungo2013/03/08 03:37 PM
                                                                    Thank you very much!David Hess2013/03/08 07:47 PM
                                                            Thank you very much!Ricardo B2013/03/08 04:07 AM
                                                              ARM lackings a historical accident?Paul A. Clayton2013/03/08 07:54 AM
                                                                ARM lackings a historical accident?Ricardo B2013/03/08 02:33 PM
                                                          What is wrong with ARM?Michael S2013/03/08 05:25 AM
                                                            What is wrong with ARM?David Hess2013/03/08 11:37 AM
                                                            What is wrong with ARM?dmsc2013/03/12 02:47 PM
                                                          What is wrong with ARM?dmsc2013/03/12 02:43 PM
                                                      ARMv8 cleanlinessMichael S2013/03/02 04:06 PM
                                                    ParityAndi Kleen2013/03/03 12:47 PM
                                                      ParityLinus Torvalds2013/03/03 02:06 PM
                                                        ParityAndi Kleen2013/03/03 06:15 PM
                                            Except the borrow bitMatthew D2013/02/25 11:07 PM
                                              Except the borrow bitrwessel2013/02/25 11:42 PM
                                              Except the borrow bitLinus Torvalds2013/02/26 10:13 AM
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                                                  are ZSCO flags really fundamental?Linus Torvalds2013/02/27 04:41 PM
                                                    are ZSCO flags really fundamental?Michael S2013/02/28 12:39 AM
                                                    are ZSCO flags really fundamental?2013/03/01 09:23 AM
                                                  are ZSCO flags really fundamental?EduardoS2013/02/27 10:07 PM
                                                    are ZSCO flags really fundamental?Michael S2013/02/28 03:58 AM
                                                  are ZSCO flags really fundamental?rwessel2013/02/27 11:29 PM
                                                    are ZSCO flags really fundamental?rwessel2013/02/27 11:32 PM
                                                    Bit numbering on big endian machinesKonrad Schwarz2013/02/28 12:49 AM
                                                      Bit numbering on big endian machinesrwessel2013/02/28 01:32 AM
                                          ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/25 04:54 AM
                                            ARMv8 cleanlinessEduardoS2013/02/25 05:24 AM
                                              ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/25 06:36 AM
                                                ARMv8 cleanlinessEduardoS2013/02/25 12:06 PM
                                                  ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/25 04:24 PM
                                                    ARMv8 cleanlinessEduardoS2013/02/25 04:55 PM
                                                    Utility of data loss exceptionsPaul A. Clayton2013/02/25 07:18 PM
                                                      Utility of data loss exceptionsrwessel2013/02/26 12:00 AM
                                                        Excessively expensive mode changingPaul A. Clayton2013/02/26 05:15 AM
                                                      Utility of data loss exceptionsEduardoS2013/02/26 01:55 AM
                                                        Utility of data loss exceptionsTREZA2013/02/26 03:53 AM
                                                          Utility of data loss exceptionsEduardoS2013/02/26 04:37 AM
                                                      Utility of data loss exceptionsEtienne2013/02/26 05:01 AM
                                            1b vs. 4b not a huge difference?Paul A. Clayton2013/02/25 08:57 AM
                                  Possible benefit of multi-bit CCPaul A. Clayton2013/02/23 07:09 AM
                                ARMv8 cleanlinessrwessel2013/02/17 11:01 PM
                                  ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/18 04:33 PM
                                    ARMv8 cleanlinessEduardoS2013/02/18 07:18 PM
                                      ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/25 05:19 AM
                      ARMv8 cleanlinessTREZA2013/02/15 03:21 AM
                      ARMv8 cleanliness2013/02/17 09:49 AM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/17 10:54 AM
                          ARMv8 cleanlinessLinus Torvalds2013/02/17 10:58 AM
                          ARMv8 cleanlinessnone2013/02/17 03:36 PM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessTREZA2013/02/17 10:59 AM
                          ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/17 11:30 AM
                            and-compare and or-comparePaul A. Clayton2013/02/17 04:28 PM
                              early branch resolutionanon2013/02/18 01:05 AM
                                My ignorance about compilers is vasterPaul A. Clayton2013/02/18 12:30 PM
                                early branch resolutionanon2013/02/18 04:12 PM
                              early branch resolution?EBFE2013/02/19 12:03 AM
                                Early resolution: some but limited potentialPaul A. Clayton2013/02/19 04:52 PM
                                  Early resolution: some but limited potentialhobold2013/02/20 01:02 PM
                                    PPC750 was an inspirationPaul A. Clayton2013/02/23 07:09 AM
                          ARMv8 cleanlinessTREZA2013/02/17 12:53 PM
                            ARMv8 cleanlinessExophase2013/02/17 03:49 PM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessWilco2013/02/17 11:07 AM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessbakaneko2013/02/17 11:43 AM
                        ARMv8 cleanlinessJouni Osmala2013/02/17 12:10 PM
                          -1 comparison true seems betterPaul A. Clayton2013/02/17 05:07 PM
                  ARMv8 cleanlinessEtienne2013/07/17 01:58 AM
      ARM server benchmark- why Apache?Per Hesselgren2013/02/04 11:13 PM
        ARM server benchmark- why Apache?anon2013/02/04 11:38 PM
          ARM server benchmark- why Apache?Per Hesselgren2013/02/05 12:25 AM
            ARM server benchmark- why Apache?Michael S2013/02/05 01:13 AM
          ARM server benchmark- why Apache?Michael S2013/02/05 12:51 AM
          I think that was debunked alreadyDavid Kanter2013/02/05 06:36 PM
        ARM server benchmark- why Apache?bakaneko2013/02/06 01:37 AM
          ARM server benchmark- why Apache?Michael S2013/02/06 02:43 AM
            Marketing to PHBs?Paul A. Clayton2013/02/06 05:40 AM
            ARM server benchmark- why Apache?bakaneko2013/02/06 06:08 AM
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