[llvm-dev] [RFC] Non-Temporal hints from Loop Vectorizer

via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue May 3 10:26:28 PDT 2016

Non-temporal hints are extremely dangerous to use in practice IMO; they hurt far more than they help in real programs. Compilers really should not be using them without the programmer’s knowledge, even if it helps some microbenchmark, because in real programs, the only one who really knows the memory access patterns is the programmer. Unless you can be certain the output of a function or loop is literally bigger than the entire cache and won’t be used again for a long time, forcibly evicting it from cache tends to be a very costly mistake.


> On May 3, 2016, at 3:40 AM, Hahnfeld, Jonas via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I've been wondering why Clang doesn't generate non-temporal stores when
> compiling the STREAM benchmark [1] and therefore doesn't yield optimal
> results.
> It turned out that the Loop Vectorizer correctly vectorizes the arithmetic
> operations and also merges the loads and stores into vector operations.
> However it doesn't add the '!nontemporal' metadata which would be needed for
> maximal bandwidth on X86.
> I briefly looked into this and for non-temporal memory instructions to work,
> the memory address would have to be aligned to the vector length which
> currently isn't the case neither.
> To summarize the following things would be needed to give non-temporal
> hints:
> 1) Ensure correct alignment of merged vector memory instructions
> This could be implemented by executing the first (scalar) loop iterations
> until the addresses for loads and stores are aligned, similar to what already
> happens for the remainder of the loop. The larger alignment would also allow
> aligned vector instructions instead of the currently unaligned ones.
> 2) Give non-temporal hints when different array elements are only used once
> per loop iteration
> We probably need to analyze the different load and stores per loop iteration
> for this...
> Any thoughts or any ongoing work that I'm missing?
> Thanks,
> Jonas
> [1] https://www.cs.virginia.edu/stream/
> --
> Jonas Hahnfeld, MATSE-Auszubildender
> IT Center
> Group: High Performance Computing
> Division: Computational Science and Engineering
> RWTH Aachen University
> Seffenter Weg 23
> D 52074  Aachen (Germany)
> Hahnfeld at itc.rwth-aachen.de
> www.itc.rwth-aachen.de
> _______________________________________________
> LLVM Developers mailing list
> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
> http://lists.llvm.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/llvm-dev

More information about the llvm-dev mailing list