Did cache misses disrupt load delay?

Article: Silvermont, Intel's Low Power Architecture
By: Paul A. Clayton (paaronclayton.delete@this.gmail.com), May 18, 2013 2:48 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Exophase (exophase.delete@this.gmail.com) on May 18, 2013 10:33 am wrote:
[snip]
> I recall a few Playstation (MIPS3k based CPU) games were found to use the load register in the delay
> slot and rely on the correct semantics. This is par for the course for older commercial games; you're
> bound to see all sorts of reliance on undefined ISA behavior if you look far enough.

I admit that I do not find that especially surprising. I find it sad that such things need to be checked at run-time when they could be checked at the time of compilation (or assembly), but realistically the user would blame the hardware vendor ("it worked on the previous implementation") and the hardware vendor might not have any means of requiring even minimal software validation.

(Such is a little surprising in that MIPS is relatively register rich, so the benefit of having such a temporary storage would seem to be very small, though perhaps some such cases might allow the avoidance of a register-register move?)

(I admit in some of my [very limited] playing with CSS, I have used browser behavior to try to produce a given appearance rather than trying to fully understand the standard. [The fact that CSS was not implemented consistently was not helpful. To some degree it did not matter if a bug was in my use of CSS or in a browser's implementation of CSS; I would usually just give up on trying to generate a particular appearance. {I did report one minor CSS bug in Opera, but that was partially because it was obviously a bug and partially because the barrier to reporting was very low--and there was some feeling that reporting a bug might lead to the bug being fixed.}])

> You're probably
> right that interrupts wouldn't preserve the pipeline state.

It might have been worse; I think even cache misses could break the load delay behavior.

In either case, I would assume MIPS would have stated that such behavior was undefined and should not be relied upon (though for interrupt-only "delay quashing", non-interruptible code sequences could be considered reliable).

Does anyone here know if cache misses filled the load destination before the value would be read by a delay slot instruction? (I could not find the reference I vaguely recall reading on comp.arch, but I did not search intently and my search skills are not great.)


> On TI's C6x DSPs it's hard to write high
> performance code that doesn't use registers under the shadows of their execution due to having such
> heavily pipelining and wide execution units (and fully single cycle throughput with no interlocks).
> So some performance critical code will disable interrupts while in their innermost loops.

For a VLIW DSP such behavior might be more understandable. Classic VLIWs took the idea of pipeline scheduling to the extreme, and for DSPs hardware performance efficiency was probably substantially more important than ease of writing software and other concerns.

> But I doubt
> MIPS code would do this.. the cases where it happened were probably programmer mistakes that happened
> to work, possibly already in areas of the code where interrupts were disabled.

And (if loads did squash the delay) where cache misses did not happen.

> As far as backwards compatibility goes, self-modifying code could have been
> a bigger problem. That is, when going from processors with no dcache or no
> way to flush dcache (like Playstation's) to processors with proper dcache.

I vaguely recall reading that ARM had such issues moving from no cache to a unified cache and then to separate instruction and data caches. Having multiple processors can make this issue even more interesting.
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                                              Quibbling on multithreadingrwessel2013/06/02 10:54 PM
                                                Exploiting for SMT was my "contribution"Paul A. Clayton2013/06/03 03:53 AM
                                            Silvermont architecture in-depth articleMichael S2013/06/01 09:49 AM
                        Silvermont architecture in-depth articleRicardo B2013/05/30 03:41 PM
                          Didn't notice how this was to be organized...Sebastian Soeiro2013/05/30 06:55 PM
          Silvermont, not Saltwell? (NT)papapapa2013/05/28 03:33 PM
            Of course. Not enough sleep. (NT)Ricardo B2013/05/29 01:27 PM
  No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/28 02:27 AM
    No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Michael S2013/06/28 03:52 AM
      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Exophase2013/06/28 12:54 PM
        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Michael S2013/06/29 10:21 AM
          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Exophase2013/06/29 08:07 PM
      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Linus Torvalds2013/06/29 11:22 AM
        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/29 04:26 PM
          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/29 05:50 PM
            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/29 08:15 PM
              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/29 08:31 PM
                No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/30 01:53 AM
                  No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/30 04:24 AM
                    No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/30 09:41 AM
                      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/30 12:26 PM
                        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/06/30 11:32 PM
                          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/07/01 04:40 PM
                            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/01 05:44 PM
                            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Michael S2013/07/02 04:40 AM
                              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Exophase2013/07/02 08:03 AM
                              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/07/02 04:20 PM
                          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 08:25 AM
                      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Etienne2013/07/02 03:36 AM
                        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/02 06:13 AM
                          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 09:03 AM
                            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/02 03:12 PM
                              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 03:43 PM
                                No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/02 04:47 PM
                                  No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 06:36 PM
                                    No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/02 08:03 PM
                                      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Symmetry2013/07/03 06:14 AM
                                        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/03 08:04 PM
                                          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/04 02:23 AM
                        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 09:01 AM
                          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Etienne2013/07/03 02:26 AM
                            layer 2 cache behaviourEtienne2013/07/05 02:14 AM
                              layer 2 cache behaviourMichael S2013/07/05 05:41 AM
                                layer 2 cache behaviourEtienne2013/07/05 08:15 AM
                              layer 2 cache behaviourPatrick Chase2013/07/05 10:37 AM
                                layer 2 cache behaviourMichael S2013/07/06 09:57 AM
                                  layer 2 cache behaviourPatrick Chase2013/07/06 11:08 AM
                                    layer 2 cache behaviourPatrick Chase2013/07/06 11:19 AM
                                    layer 2 cache behaviourEtienne2013/07/08 02:10 AM
                                      layer 2 cache behaviourPatrick Chase2013/07/08 09:02 AM
                                  layer 2 cache behaviourPatrick Chase2013/07/06 01:15 PM
                                  layer 2 cache behaviourUngo2013/07/09 02:24 PM
                      No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 07:43 AM
                  No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 07:34 AM
                    No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?anon2013/07/02 03:15 PM
            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?none2013/06/30 04:03 AM
              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/30 04:45 AM
                No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?none2013/06/30 05:28 AM
                  No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?EduardoS2013/06/30 12:27 PM
        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?x2013/06/30 02:54 AM
          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Foo_2013/06/30 05:15 AM
        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?rwessel2013/06/30 09:11 PM
          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Linus Torvalds2013/07/01 12:40 PM
            No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Patrick Chase2013/07/02 09:35 AM
              No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?Linus Torvalds2013/07/02 10:18 AM
            FPU in integer codes2013/07/02 10:38 AM
              FPU in integer codesPatrick Chase2013/07/02 10:56 AM
              FPU in integer codesLinus Torvalds2013/07/02 11:12 AM
                FPU in integer codesPatrick Chase2013/07/02 11:34 AM
                  FPU in integer codesLinus Torvalds2013/07/02 12:55 PM
        No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?2013/06/30 10:42 PM
          No out-of-order in FP cluster of silvermont?bakaneko2013/07/03 02:54 AM
        What about integer SIMD?Exophase2013/06/30 11:44 PM
          What about integer SIMD?anon2013/07/01 12:45 AM
            What about integer SIMD?Michael S2013/07/01 07:57 AM
              What about integer SIMD?rwessel2013/07/01 02:39 PM
                What about integer SIMD?Michael S2013/07/01 03:11 PM
                  What about integer SIMD?EduardoS2013/07/01 05:04 PM
                    What about integer SIMD?Michael S2013/07/01 11:32 PM
          What about integer SIMD?hi2013/07/01 07:15 AM
            What about integer SIMD?Exophase2013/07/01 09:50 AM
            What about integer SIMD?David Kanter2013/07/02 12:20 PM
              What about integer SIMD?hi2013/07/02 02:48 PM
                What about integer SIMD?David Kanter2013/07/04 02:19 PM
  Silvermont architecture in-depth articleSebastian Soeiro2013/07/30 08:34 AM
    TLBs are caches of page tablesPaul A. Clayton2013/07/30 10:03 AM
      TLBs are caches of page tablesSebastian Soeiro2013/07/30 12:18 PM
        TLBs are caches of page tablesPaul A. Clayton2013/07/30 02:59 PM
          TLBs are caches of page tablesSebastian Soeiro2013/07/30 04:27 PM
            TLBs are caches of page tablesrwessel2013/07/30 06:01 PM
              TLBs are caches of page tablesSebastian Soeiro2013/07/31 01:15 PM
                Floorplan images show physical locationsPaul A. Clayton2013/07/31 03:11 PM
                  Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/07/31 08:12 PM
                    Floorplan images show physical locationsrwessel2013/07/31 11:21 PM
                      Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/08/02 11:58 AM
                        Floorplan images show physical locationsAntti-Ville Tuunainen2013/08/02 01:09 PM
                        Floorplan images show physical locationsStubabe2013/08/02 06:49 PM
                          Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/08/03 07:23 AM
                            Floorplan images show physical locationsrwessel2013/08/03 10:16 PM
                            Floorplan images show physical locationsMelody Speer2013/08/04 03:11 AM
                              Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/08/04 04:42 PM
                                Floorplan images show physical locationsrwessel2013/08/04 09:58 PM
                                  Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/08/07 02:33 PM
                                    Floorplan images show physical locationsrwessel2013/08/08 12:03 PM
                                      Floorplan images show physical locationsSebastian Soeiro2013/08/11 08:20 AM
                                        Page tables are set up by the OSPaul A. Clayton2013/08/11 12:25 PM
                                          Page tables are set up by the OSSebastian Soeiro2013/08/16 07:43 PM
                                            Multilevel page table formatPaul A. Clayton2013/08/17 10:18 AM
                                              Multilevel page table formatSebastian Soeiro2013/08/19 02:28 PM
                                                Multilevel page table formatrwessel2013/08/19 11:08 PM
                                                  Multilevel page table formatSebastian Soeiro2013/08/22 03:52 PM
                                                    Multilevel page table formatTREZA2013/08/22 04:30 PM
                                                    Multilevel page table formatrwessel2013/08/23 09:58 PM
                                                      Multilevel page table formatSebastian Soeiro2013/08/25 07:20 AM
                TLBs are caches of page tablesrwessel2013/07/31 11:41 PM
                  TLBs are caches of page tablesSebastian Soeiro2013/08/02 11:51 AM
                    TLBs are caches of page tablesrwessel2013/08/02 05:55 PM
  Silvermont instruction schedulingHugo Décharnes2013/10/02 02:25 AM
    Silvermont instruction schedulingMichael S2013/10/02 03:29 AM
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