By: anon (, July 4, 2019 5:53 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
RichardC ( on July 4, 2019 10:54 am wrote:
> Simon Farnsworth ( on July 4, 2019 9:46 am wrote:

> > I think the decisions made to get from ARM2 to ARM3 are, with 20/20 hindsight, not right
> > (VIVT cache in the ARM3, SWP and SWPB instead of a single CMPSWP instruction or an extremely
> > constrained LDREX/STREX pair - one that fails the store if the CPU is interrupted during
> > the critical sequence by anything, and a new bus line for "interrupt LDREX/STREX").
> IIRC I left Acorn in mid-1988, before ARM-3, so I don't have much insight into that and
> later CPUs. The designers were cycle-counters and speed freaks, so that's probably why the
> VIVT cache was favored.

VIVT caches look really good to a hardware designer. I'm not sure what software looked like back then, but even today if you don't have a solid understanding of how the software stack works (OS and applications), then you could be forgiven for wondering why on anybody would use PT. Back then with much less experience of virtual memory, and the company writing their own OSes, VIVT was not a bad choice from what data they (likely) had.

IMO it falls in the category of something like a trace cache. It looks very good from a lot of angles and even many of the angles where it does not look so good in isolation have a number of apparent software and hardware mitigations. It's only when you have worked through the problems and have an understanding of the entire system that you might come to decide that it is not the best approach.
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      ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)RichardC2019/07/03 07:56 PM
        ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Simon Farnsworth2019/07/04 04:09 AM
          DMARichardC2019/07/04 05:52 AM
            DMASimon Farnsworth2019/07/04 09:46 AM
              DMARichardC2019/07/04 10:54 AM
                DMAanon2019/07/04 05:53 PM
                  DMASimon Farnsworth2019/07/05 01:51 AM
                  DMARichardC2019/07/05 08:24 PM
            DMAMaxwell2019/07/04 09:49 AM
              DMAHoward Chu2019/07/04 10:55 AM
              DMARichardC2019/07/04 11:00 AM
          ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Etienne2019/07/04 08:06 AM
            ok once you have MMURichardC2019/07/04 08:46 AM
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  ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)jv2019/06/28 07:20 AM
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          ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Wilco2019/06/30 03:51 AM
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                ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Michael S2019/06/30 05:53 AM
                  ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Wilco2019/07/02 01:49 AM
                    ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Michael S2019/07/02 04:24 AM
                      ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Wilco2019/07/02 05:28 PM
                        ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Michael S2019/07/03 01:37 AM
                          ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Adrian2019/07/03 02:45 AM
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                        ARM1/ARM2 Alternative? (20/20 Hindsight)Montaray Jack2019/07/03 02:32 PM
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