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SubjectRe: gcc 2.95 vs 3.21 performance
Hi there,

From my experience, the speed issue is caused by misalligned memory
accesses, causing inefficient SDRAM to Cache movement of data and

I don't think that you necessarily need a modification to the compiler.
What you can do is carefully place the ALLIGN switch in a few critical
places in the kernel code, to ensure that the code and data will be
properly alligned for whatever processor it is compiled for, be that a
Pentium, an ARM, a MIPS or whatever.

It would be nice if GCC can be suitably improved to do this correcly for
all architectures, but a little bit of human help can do wonders,
without having to fork the GCC project.


Herman Oosthuysen
B.Eng.(E), Member of IEEE
Wireless Networks Inc.
Phone: 1.403.569-5687, Fax: 1.403.235-3965

John Bradford wrote:
>> > Maybe we should create a KGCC fork, optimise it for kernel
>> > complilations, then try to get our changes merged back in to GCC
>> > mainline at a later date.
>>What exactly do you mean by "optimise for kernel compilations" ?
> I don't, that was a bad way of phrasing it - I didn't mean fork GCC
> just to create one which compiles the kernel so it runs faster, as the
> expense of other code.
> What I was thinking was that if we forked GCC, we could try out all of
> these ideas that have been floating around in this thread, and if, as
> was hinted at earlier in this thread, $bigcompanies[] have not offered
> contributions because of reluctance to accept them by the GCC team, we
> would be more in a position to try them out, because we only need to
> concern ourselves with breaking the compilation of the kernel, not
> every single program that currently compiles with GCC.
> The way I see it, the development series would be optimised for KGCC,
> and when we start to think about stabilising that development series,
> we try to get our KGCC changes merged back in to GCC mainline. If
> they are not accepted, either KGCC becomes the recommended kernel
> compiler, which should cause no great difficulties, (having one
> compiler for kernels, and one for userland applications), or we start
> making sure that we haven't broken compilation with GCC, (and since a
> there would probably always be people compiling with GCC anyway, even
> if there was a KGCC, we would effectively always know if we broke
> compilation with GCC), and then the recommended compiler is just not
> the optimal one, and it would be up to the various distributions to
> decide which one they are going to use.
> John.
> -
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