[llvm-dev] [RFC] Allow loop vectorizer to choose vector widths that generate illegal types

Michael Kuperstein via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Jun 15 15:47:53 PDT 2016


Currently the loop vectorizer will, by default, not consider vectorization
factors that would make it generate types that do not fit into the target
platform's vector registers. That is, if the widest scalar type in the
scalar loop is i64, and the platform's largest vector register is 256-bit
wide, we will not consider a VF above 4.

We have a command line option (-mllvm -vectorizer-maximize-bandwidth), that
will choose VFs for consideration based on the narrowest scalar type
instead of the widest one, but I don't believe it has been widely tested.
If anyone has had an opportunity to play around with it, I'd love to hear
about the results.

What I'd like to do is:
Step 1: Make -vectorizer-maximize-bandwidth the default. This should
improve the performance of loops that contain mixed-width types.
Step 2: Remove the artificial width limitation altogether, and base the
vectorization factor decision purely on the cost model. This should allow
us to get rid of the interleaving code in the loop vectorizer, and get
interleaving for "free" from the legalizer instead.

There are two potential road-blocks I see - the cost-model, and the
legalizer. To make this work, we need to:
a) Model the cost of operations on illegal types better. Right now, what we
get is sometimes completely ridiculous (e.g. see
b) Make sure the cost model actually stops us when the VF becomes too
large. This is mostly a question of correctly estimating the register
pressure. In theory, that should not be a issue - we already rely on this
estimate to choose the interleaving factor, so using the same logic to
upper-bound the VF directly shouldn't make things worse.
c) Ensure the legalizer is up to the task of emitting good code for overly
wide vectors. I've talked about this with Chandler, and his opinion
(Chandler, please correct me if I'm wrong) is that on x86, the legalizer is
likely to be able to handle this. This may not be true for other platforms.
So, I'd like to try to make this the default on a platform-by-platform
basis, starting with x86.

What do you think? Does this seem like a step in the right direction?
Anything important I'm missing?

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