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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] convert cnt32_to_63 to inline
    On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 03:11:30PM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
    > I think the added barrier() are causing these pipeline stalls. They
    > don't allow the compiler to read variables such as oscr2ns_scale before
    > the barrier because gcc cannot assume it won't be modified. However, to
    > insure that OSCR read is done after __m_cnt_hi read, this barrier seems
    > required to be safe against gcc optimizations.
    >
    > Have you compared my patch to Nicolas'patch, which adds a smp_rmb() in
    > the macro or to a vanilla tree ?

    Nicolas' patch compared to unmodified - there's less side effects,
    which come down to two pipeline stalls whereas we had none with
    the unmodified code.

    One pipeline stall for loading the address of __m_cnt_hi and reading
    its value, followed by the same thing for oscr2ns_scale.

    I think this is showing the problem of compiler barriers - they are
    indescriminate. They are total and complete barriers - not only do
    they act on the data but also the compilers ability to emit code for
    generating the addresses of the data to be loaded.

    Clearly, the address of OSCR, __m_cnt_hi nor oscr2ns_scale is ever
    going to change at run time - their addresses are all stored in the
    literal pool, but by putting compiler barriers in, the compiler is
    being prevented from reading from the literal pool at the most
    appropriate point.

    So, I've tried this:

    unsigned long long sched_clock(void)
    {
    + unsigned long *oscr2ns_ptr = &oscr2ns_scale;
    unsigned long long v = cnt32_to_63(OSCR);
    - return (v * oscr2ns_scale) >> OSCR2NS_SCALE_FACTOR;
    + return (v * *oscr2ns_ptr) >> OSCR2NS_SCALE_FACTOR;
    }

    to try to explicitly code the loads. This unfortunately results in
    three pipeline stalls. Also tried swapping the two lines starting
    'unsigned long' without any improvement on not having those extra hacks
    to work around the barrier.

    So, let's summarise this:

    1. the existing code works, is correct on ARM, and is efficient.
    2. throwing barriers into the function makes it less efficient.
    3. re-engineering the code appears to make things worse.

    --
    Russell King
    Linux kernel 2.6 ARM Linux - http://www.arm.linux.org.uk/
    maintainer of:


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