[LLVMdev] ReduceLoadWidth, DAGCombiner and non 8bit loads/extloads question.

Ahmed Bougacha ahmed.bougacha at gmail.com
Wed Mar 4 09:53:52 PST 2015

+Chandler, Hal, Owen, who - among others - know much more than I do.

On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 11:57 AM, Ryan Taylor <ryta1203 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1) It's crashing because LD1 is produced due to LegalOperations=false in
> pre-legalize pass. Then Legalization does not know how to handle it so it
> asserts on a default case.

Yes, and where, and on what, does the assert fire?  8-bit load
legalization I assume?

> I don't know if it's a reasonable expectation or
> not but we do not have support for it. I have not tried overriding
> shouldReduceLoadWidth.
> 2) I see, that makes sense to some degree, I'm curious if you can provide an
> example? It doesn't seem good to generate something pre-legalize
> (target-independent) that you can't then handle when you find that it's
> illegal in the very next step that is legalization.

I believe the general idea is one of separation of concerns:  the way
I see it, the DAGCombiner's job is to canonicalize so that other
(perhaps target-specific) transformations only need to handle the
canonical representation.  Usually, that means optimizing code:  stuff
like e.g. (sub x, x) shouldn't be special-cased in each target (at
least not on ISD nodes ;))
The legalizer (or rather, the various legalizers) later does its own
job, legalizing, after which all code must be "legal".  The further
rounds of DAGCombining just maintain that invariant.

So really, this is a legalization problem:  for instance, is it not
possible for the SelectionDAGBuilder to generate 8-bit loads as well?
In this specific case, I'd rather we avoid the problem altogether, and
would be fine with not doing this kind of transform if the resulting
loads is illegal (and one might argue for the same in all the other
"!LegalOperations" combines).

But the actual solution seems to be with the load legalization:  I
wouldn't be surprised if many other spots assumed 8-bit loads are
legal (as you noticed after disabling ReduceLoadWidth?), and this is
your real problem.

Take this with a grain of salt though, I only ever look at
bog-standard X86-ish targets.  The cc'd people might have a better


> I'm guessing, from what
> you and others have said, that it's just expected that every machine will
> support 8-bit extloads and if not then the target should handle the undoing
> of the target-independent generated 'optimization' via LegalizeDAG and
> TargetLowering callback methods?
> 3) I have not tried running it on any other target, sorry, I suppose I
> should but I didn't want to take the time if I'm not following the right
> path here.
> Thanks.
> We'd love to hear what the community thinks would be the 'best' solution. We
> are trying not to change any 'core' code.
> On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 2:08 PM, Ahmed Bougacha <ahmed.bougacha at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 10:35 AM, Ryan Taylor <ryta1203 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I'm curious about this code in ReduceLoadWidth (and in DAGCombiner in
>> > general):
>> >
>> > if (LegalOperations && !TLI.isLoadExtLegal(ExtType, ExtVT))
>> >    return SDValue();
>> >
>> > LegalOperations is false for the first pre-legalize pass and true for
>> > the
>> > post-legalize pass. The first pass is target-independent yes? So that
>> > makes
>> > sense.
>> >
>> > The issue we are having is this: we don't support 8 bit loads and we
>> > don't
>> > support 8 bit extloads, so we end up with LD1 with zext after either the
>> > first pass or the second pass (depending on the test case). If we add
>> > the
>> > TargetLowering callback method setLoadExtAction(ISD::ZEXTLOAD, MVT::i8,
>> > Expand) then it crashes during legalization
>> This part is surprising.  What happens?  This seems to me like the
>> correct solution.
>> I'm guessing it's because there's no good way to legalize 8 bit loads?
>>  I have no idea what happens when those are illegal, as I'd expect
>> them to be always available?
>> Here's a cheap hack though: I see that ReduceLoadWidth is predicated on
>> the
>> TLI "shouldReduceLoadWidth" hook.  Did you try overriding that to
>> avoid creating 8 bit loads?
>> > and if we don't have that in
>> > then it crashes during instruction selection.
>> >
>> > There are two ways to fix this:
>> >
>> > 1) Add the setLoadExtAction AND comment out 'LegalOperations &&' in the
>> > conditional. (this solves the problem)
>> >
>> > 2) Create a custom expand to undo the optimization added by
>> > ReduceLoadWidth.
>> >
>> > The 2nd approach seems more in line with what LLVM infrastructure wants
>> > but
>> > it seems silly to have to undo an optimization?
>> >
>> > Essentially, we have some bit packing structures and the code is trying
>> > to
>> > get the upper bits. The initial dag generates an LD2 with srl (which
>> > makes
>> > sense, it's what we want). The DAGCombiner then goes in and changes that
>> > LD2
>> > with srl to an LD1 zextload, which we don't support.
>> >
>> > Why is LegalOperations really needed here? What is the purpose and point
>> > of
>> > this? It seems you could eliminate this and be all the better for it.
>> FWIW I somewhat agree, and believe this is a common "problem":  we
>> eagerly generate obviously-illegal nodes, because we're before
>> legalisation, so it's OK, right?  Except, it's sometimes hard to
>> recover from.  Most of the time, it's a good thing, precisely because
>> it catches patterns that would be disturbed by legalization.
>> Did you try running the integration tests - at least X86 - after
>> changing the condition?
>> -Ahmed
>> > Thanks.
>> >
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>> >

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