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Re: [Linux-ia64] gcc won't inline function returning struct?


Just out of idle curiousity, what would happen if the `complex'
structure were changed to something like:

	typedef struct {
		float re, im;
		int dummy;
	} complex;

Since this is no longer an HFA would this kick the compiler into
a mode where the code would at least work, all be it not in the most
efficient manner?

On Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 02:23:25PM -0800, Jim Wilson wrote:
> The IA-64 ABI says that structures of floats are passed/returned decomposed
> into floating point registers.  They ABI calls them homogeneous floating-point
> aggregates, or HFA for short.  This also applies to complex types.  Thus your
> structure
> 	typedef struct {
>         	float re, im;
> 	} complex;
> is handled by putting RE in one FP register, and IM in the next.  This is
> not normal practice, since the structure is 8 bytes, but ends up using 16
> bytes worth of register (ignoring long double to simplify the discussion).
> This requires special code to decompose/compose HFA arguments and return
> values on IA-64 when loading/storing them.  IA-32 does not use this convention,
> and thus does not need special code for HFAs.
> Because of the old design of the C front end, this special code is problematic.
> The C front end generates low level code first, including code to compose/
> decompose HFAs, and then tries to do function inlining.  When we inline a
> function, we have to optimize away the code that composes/decomposes HFAs,
> and this is so difficult that in practice it isn't worthwhile to try.  Thus
> we can not inline a function that uses an HFA argument or return value.
> The C++ front uses a more recent design that inlines first, and then generates
> low level code including the HFA compose/decompose code.  If you compile your
> example as C++ code, it will work.
> Work is underway to rewrite the C front end to make it work more like the C++
> front end, or perhaps even just use the C++ front end for C.  When this work
> gets far enough, inlining of HFA functions will work in C.  I just tried your
> example with the current FSF development sources, and it did work, so I think
> this is fixed as of Alexandre Oliva's 2001-10-05 gcc changes to the C front
> end.  I don't know how well it is working at the moment though.  However,
> I would expect it to be working fine by the time gcc 3.1 comes out in spring of
> 2002.
> Another consideration here is that the IL (Intermediate Language) used by
> gcc has no support for representing decomposed structures.  If we did,
> then we could get much better optimization of structures by separately
> optimizing every structure field as if it was a scalar.  But we don't,
> so the only way we can handle decomposed structures as arguments is to
> decompose them before the call, and then recompose them in the function
> prologue.  This is pretty inefficient, but it does work.  Fixing this will
> be a lot of work, and it will likely be a while before anyone tries.
> Jim
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Don Dugger
"Censeo Toto nos in Kansa esse decisse." - D. Gale
Ph: 303/652-0870x117

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