[llvm-dev] [RFC] Using basic block attributes to implement non-default floating point environment

Reid Kleckner via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Oct 3 14:04:23 PDT 2019

Basic block attributes would be a pretty major change for LLVM. If we were
to add something like this to LLVM, it should be really well designed, and
support other use cases beyond just the FP environment.

General regions could support things like:
- replace lifetime.start/end
- asynch exception handling
- better windows EH
- better replacement for inalloca
- I'm sure there are use cases in parallelization that I'm unfamiliar with

As is, no, I don't think we should put attributes on blocks.

On Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 10:37 PM Serge Pavlov via llvm-dev <
llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> This proposal is aimed at support of floating point environment, in which
> some properties like rounding mode or exception behavior differ from those
> used by default. This include in particular support of 'pragma STDC
> FENV_ACCESS', 'pragma STDC FENV_ROUND' as well as some other related
> facilities.
> Problem
> On many processors use of non-default floating mode requires modification
> of global state by writing into some register. It presents a difficulty for
> implementation as a floating point instruction must not be move to code
> which executes with different floating point state. To prevent from such
> moves, the current solution represents FP operations with special
> (constrained) instructions, which do not participate in optimizations (
> http://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/cfe-dev/2017-August/055325.html). It is
> important that the constrained FP operations must be used everywhere in
> entire function including inlined calls, if they are used in some part of
> it.
> The main concern about such approach is performance drop. Using
> constrained FP operations means that optimizations on FP operations are
> turned off, this is the main reason of using them. Even if non-default FP
> environment is used in a small piece of a function, optimizations are
> turned off in entire function. For many practical application this is
> unacceptable.
> Although this approach prevents from moving instructions, it does not
> prevent from moving basic blocks. The code that uses non-default FP
> environment at some point must set appropriate state registers, do
> necessary operations and then restore the original mode. If this activity
> is scattered by several basic blocks, block-level optimizations can break
> these arrangement, for instance a basic block with default FP operations
> can be moved after the block that sets non-default FP environment.
> Solution
> The proposed approach is based on extension of basic blocks. It is assumed
> that code in basic block is executed in the same FP environment. The
> assumption is consistent with the rules of using 'pragma STDC FENV_ACCESS'
> and similar facilities. If the environment differs from default, such block
> has pointer to some object that keeps the block attributes including FP
> settings. All basic blocks, obtained from the same block where 'pragma STDC
> FENV_ACCESS' is specified, share the same attribute object. In bytecode
> these attributes are represented by metadata attached to the basic blocks.
> With basic block attributes compiler can assert validity of an instruction
> move by comparing attributes of source and destination BBs. An instruction
> should keep pointer to BB attributes even if it is detached from BB, to
> support common technique of moving instructions. Similarly compiler can
> verify validity of BB movement.
> Such approach allows to develop implementation in which constrained FP
> operations are 'jailed' in their basic blocks. Other part of the function
> can still use usual FP operations and get profit of optimizations.
> Depending on the target hardware some FP operations may be allowed to cross
> the 'jail' boundary, for instance, it they correspond to instructions which
> directly encode rounding mode and FP environment change rounding mode only.
> Is this solution feasible? What are obstacles, difficulties or drawbacks
> for it? Are there any improvements for it? Any feedback is welcome.
> Thanks,
> --Serge
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> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
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