Branch/jump target prediction

By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), August 10, 2016 11:46 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Mr. Camel (a.delete@this.b.c) on August 10, 2016 10:43 am wrote:
>
> Pentium 4's trace cache was awesome.

.. and by "awesome", I assume you mean "shit"?

It was horrendous crap.

Thank all Gods that it is gone, and replaced by something saner.

The current loop buffer (DSB - Decode Stream Buffer) is much better, avoids all the problems with a trace cache (overlapping instructions) and just seems to work really well.

And it has almost nothing in common with the crap that was the P4 trace cache.

A trace cache is a horrible horrible idea, while a "uop cache" like the DSB can be a great one. And the fundamental difference is that "trace" part. Thinking that you want to cache the instruction flow is a horrible idea, because it makes the fundamental mistake of thinking that branches are very predictable. It also makes invalidation fundamentally harder, so you will almost certainly have issues with coherency.

In contrast, a small predecoded instruction cache really has none of those issues, and gives you everything that a trace cache would give you except for the static trace part - but since that was garbage anyway, that's actually a feature, not a bug.

So by all means say yes to uop caches (L0 I$, "DSB", "loop buffer", or whatever you want to call them). But don't do traces. It implies a level of static behavior that just isn't true.

Linus
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TopicPosted ByDate
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                Branch/jump target predictionGabriele Svelto2016/08/14 01:09 PM
            Just a thoughtAnon2016/08/14 09:40 AM
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                Just a thoughtAnon2016/08/16 07:45 AM
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                  Branch/jump target prediction -82016/08/16 08:23 AM
                    Branch/jump target prediction -8anon2016/08/16 09:09 AM
                    Branch/jump target prediction -8Ricardo B2016/08/16 09:33 AM
                      Branch/jump target prediction -8Exophase2016/08/16 10:02 AM
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                        SPU hbr instruction (hint for branch)vvid2016/08/16 11:31 AM
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                        Branch/jump target prediction -8Gabriele Svelto2016/08/17 02:52 AM
                    Branch/jump target prediction -8Maynard Handley2016/08/18 09:02 AM
                      Branch/jump target prediction -82016/08/18 05:21 PM
                        Branch/jump target prediction -8Maynard Handley2016/08/18 06:27 PM
                          Branch/jump target prediction -8Megol2016/08/19 03:29 AM
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                      Branch/jump target prediction -8Etienne2016/08/19 12:25 AM
                        Branch/jump target prediction -8Simon Farnsworth2016/08/19 03:17 AM
                          Branch/jump target prediction -8Michael S2016/08/19 05:39 AM
                          Branch/jump target prediction -8anon2016/08/19 06:29 AM
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                              Branch/jump target prediction -8anon2016/08/19 07:48 AM
                                Branch/jump target prediction -8Exophase2016/08/19 10:03 AM
                                Branch/jump target prediction -8Maynard Handley2016/08/19 10:34 AM
                            Branch/jump target prediction -8David Kanter2016/08/19 11:23 PM
                        Branch/jump target prediction -8Ricardo B2016/08/19 06:18 AM
                          Branch/jump target prediction -8Maynard Handley2016/08/19 07:41 AM
                            Branch/jump target prediction -8Michael S2016/08/19 08:26 AM
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                                Branch/jump target prediction -8Michael S2016/08/21 12:53 AM
                                  Branch/jump target prediction -8Ricardo B2016/08/22 04:17 AM
                                    Branch/jump target prediction -8Michael S2016/08/22 04:58 AM
                                      Branch/jump target prediction -8Ricardo B2016/08/22 06:50 AM
                            Branch/jump target prediction -8Simon Farnsworth2016/08/19 08:28 AM
                              Branch/jump target prediction -8Simon Farnsworth2016/08/19 08:40 AM
                            Branch/jump target prediction -8David Kanter2016/08/22 11:05 PM
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                      Branch/jump target prediction -8anon2016/08/26 07:00 AM
                        Branch/jump target prediction -8anon2016/08/26 07:14 AM
                Branch/jump target predictionMegol2016/08/19 03:23 AM
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                Branch/jump target predictionMaynard Handley2016/08/20 06:07 AM
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              Branch/jump target predictionMegol2016/08/21 09:27 AM
                The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/22 02:10 PM
                  The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsExophase2016/08/22 07:55 PM
                    The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsanon2016/08/22 11:36 PM
                      The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsExophase2016/08/23 04:08 AM
                        The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsanon2016/08/23 08:51 PM
                          The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsExophase2016/08/23 10:12 PM
                          The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/24 06:38 AM
                            The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsanon2016/08/24 07:26 PM
                    The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/23 06:48 AM
                      That's not trueDavid Kanter2016/08/23 08:39 AM
                        That's not trueMaynard Handley2016/08/23 08:56 AM
                      The (apparent) state of trace caches on modern CPUsanon2016/08/23 08:54 PM
                  The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsEric Bron2016/08/25 01:38 AM
                    The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMichael S2016/08/25 02:28 AM
                      The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsEric Bron2016/08/25 06:12 AM
                      The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/25 08:50 AM
                        The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMichael S2016/08/25 09:36 AM
                          The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsExophase2016/08/25 10:32 AM
                        The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsEric Bron2016/08/25 10:12 AM
                          The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/25 11:01 AM
                            The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsEric Bron2016/08/25 11:20 AM
                              The (wrong) state of trace caches on modern CPUsMaynard Handley2016/08/25 12:34 PM
        Branch/jump target predictionGabriele Svelto2016/08/11 12:15 PM
  Branch/jump target predictionGabriele Svelto2016/08/20 06:21 AM
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