[fpc-devel] Register renaming and false dependency question

J. Gareth Moreton gareth at moreton-family.com
Mon Oct 18 11:14:18 CEST 2021

What I'm figuring is that it should be fine for -Os, since that 
optimises for size over speed, and -Os uses "or $-1, %rax" for setting a 
register to -1 instead of "mov $-1, %rax".  I copied this behaviour from 
MSVC after finding a thread about the false dependency that OR causes 
(Florian warned me of the false dependency when I proposed the 
optimisation regardless of size or speed).

Outside of -Os, if the immediate previous instruction uses the same 
register, then it's guaranteed to have been loaded and there shouldn't 
be a pipeline stall, although out-of-order execution may cause some 
problems.  This one is going to be interesting to time.

In regards to how frequently it appears in code, if it turns out that 
it's very infrequent (normally I compile and analyse the RTL for this 
purpose, and sometimes the compiler itself), I likely won't code it, 
although in the case of the "fast mod" algorithm, it appears very 
frequently, so should probably be coded directly, especially as the 
multiplication can take 3 cycles, depending on the processor, and is the 
limiting factor.

Gareth aka. Kit

On 17/10/2021 23:53, Stefan Glienke via fpc-devel wrote:
> According to compiler explorer clang, gcc and msvc compile this to the 
> same code with -O3 as FPC does. So I would assume that is fine.
> Am 17.10.2021 um 13:25 schrieb J. Gareth Moreton via fpc-devel:
>> Hi everyone,
>> While reading up on some algorithms, I came across a recommendation 
>> of using a shorter arithmetic function to change the value of a 
>> constant in a register rather than loading the new value directly.  
>> However, the algorithm assumes a RISC-like processor, so I'm not sure 
>> if it applies to an Intel x86-64 processor.  Consider the following:
>> movq $0xaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab,%rax
>> imulq   %rax,%rcx
>> movq $0x5555555555555555,%rax
>> cmpq    %rax,%rcx
>> setle  %al
>> This algorithm sets %al to 1 if %rcx is divisible by 3, and 0 if it's 
>> not, and was compiled from the following Pascal code (under -O3, but 
>> -O1 produces almost exactly the same):
>> function IsDivisible3(Numerator: QWord): Boolean;
>> begin
>>   Result := (Numerator * $AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB) <= $5555555555555555;
>> end;
>> (One of my merge requests produces this code from "Result := (x mod 
>> 3) = 0")
>> My question is this: can "movq $0x5555555555555555,%rax" be replaced 
>> with "shrq $0x1,%rax" without incurring an additional pipeline 
>> stall?  The MOV instruction takes 10 bytes to store, while "SHR 1" 
>> takes only 3.  Given that %rax is used beforehand and the CMP 
>> instruction has to wait until the IMUL instruction has finished 
>> executing, logic tells me that I can get away with it here, but I'm 
>> not sure if the metric to go by is the execution speed of IMUL (i.e. 
>> the IMUL instruction is the limiting factor before CMP can be 
>> executed), or the simple fact that the previous value of %rax was 
>> used and will be loaded with $AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB by the time it comes 
>> to load it with a new value.
>> Gareth aka. Kit
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