Date: Tue, 1 May 2018 15:07:56 +0000 From: Toma Tabacu <Toma.Tabacu@...s.com> To: "musl@...ts.openwall.com" <musl@...ts.openwall.com> CC: Rich Fuhler <Rich.Fuhler@...s.com>, James Hogan <James.Hogan@...s.com> Subject: Introducing a nanoMIPS port for MUSL Earlier today MIPS Tech announced the latest generation of the MIPS family of architectures called nanoMIPS . As part of the development we have been designing all the open source tools necessary to support the architecture and, thanks to the speed with which we were able to prototype, we have also been using these tools to shape the architecture along the way. This has led to some really interesting improvements in the tools, which MIPS would like to contribute back to the community. While doing this work many of us have been unable to contribute to the community as actively as we would have liked, we are therefore very grateful for the community support given to the MIPS architecture over the last 18 months. This announcement has a general introduction at the start, so if you have already read it for one of the other tools, you can skip down to the information specific to MUSL. For anyone who knows the MIPS architecture you may well wonder why we are introducing another major variant and the question is perfectly valid. We do admittedly have quite a few: MIPS I through MIPS IV, MIPS32 and MIPS64 through to MIPS32R6 and MIPS64R6, MIPS16e, MIPS16e2, microMIPSR3 and microMIPSR6. Each of these serves (or served) a purpose and there is a high level of synergy between all of them. In general, they build upon the previous and there is a high level of compatibility, even when switching to a new encoding like moving from MIPS to microMIPS. The switch to MIPS32R6/MIPS64R6 was a major shift in the way the architecture innovated and drew more on the original theory of the architecture, where evolution was not expected to be limited by binary compatibility. MIPS Release 6 removed instructions and did create some very minor incompatibility but is also much cleaner to implement from a micro-architecture perspective. We have taken this idea much further with nanoMIPS and reimagined the instruction set, by drawing on all the experience gained from previous designs. Hopefully others will find it as interesting as we do. The major driving force behind the nanoMIPS architecture was to achieve outstanding code density, while also balancing out hardware and software design cost. As background MIPS has two compressed ISA variants: MIPS16e, which cannot exist without also implementing MIPS32, and microMIPS, which can exist on its own. Since MIPS16e has specific limits that cannot be engineered around, we chose to use an approach similar to the microMIPS design. nanoMIPS has a variable-length compressed instruction set that is completely standalone from the other MIPS ISAs. It is designed to compress the highest frequency instructions to 16-bits, and use 48-bit instructions to efficiently encode 32-bit constants into the instruction stream. There is also a wider range of 32-bit instructions, which merge carefully chosen high frequency instruction sequences into single operations creating more flexible addressing modes such as indexed and scaled indexed addressing, branch compare with immediate and macro style instructions. The macro like instructions compress prologue and epilogue sequences, as well as a small number of high frequency instruction pairs like two move instructions or a move and function call. nanoMIPS also totally eliminates branch delay slots which follows a precedent set by microMIPSR6. To get the best from a new ISA we also re-engineered the ABI and created a new symbiotic relationship between the ISA and ABI that pushes code density and performance further still. The ABI creates a fully link time relaxable model, which enables us to squeeze every last byte out of the code image even when deferring final addressing mode and layout decisions to link time. We have been mindful of MIPS heritage and ensured that while open to any possible change, we also have minimal impact when porting code from MIPS to nanoMIPS, and have plenty of support to achieve source compatibility between the two. The net effect of these changes leads to an average code size reduction of 20% relative to microMIPSR6. This compression could well be one of the best achieved by GNU tools for any RISC ISA. Comparing the ISA in terms of number of instructions to issue vs microMIPS we also see a reduction of between 8% and 11% of dynamic instruction count. Below we dig into some technical specifics for MUSL; we welcome any feedback and questions as we start to look at rebasing this work to the trunk/master and formally submitting it. nanoMIPS pre-built toolchains and source code tarballs are available at: http://codescape.mips.com/components/toolchain/nanomips/2018.04-02/ MUSL specific details ===================== We chose to use MUSL as the Linux user-mode C library for nanoMIPS thanks to the incredible simplicity it offers when porting to a new architecture. With minimal changes (and in fact removal of code compared to MIPS), we had MUSL working as a statically linked C library within just a few days. Porting and using the dynamic linker was equally easy, allowing us to evolve the ABI decisions we made for dynamic executables while prototyping. Given there is so little that needs architecture specific work in MUSL, there are only a few technical highlights for nanoMIPS: - added an optimized version of memcpy written in C which takes into account the cache subsystem of nanoMIPS architectures and allows easy modification to target specific implementations - added initial experimental support for a new TLS descriptor design that optimises away the need for a static resolver function Contributors: - General nanoMIPS support Jaydeep Patil, James Hogan - memcpy Rich Fuhler - TLS/dynamic linking Toma Tabacu  https://www.mips.com/press/new-mips-i7200-processor-core-delivers-unmatched-performance-and-efficiency-for-advanced-lte5g-communications-and-networking-ic-designs/
Powered by blists - more mailing lists
Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.