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16.20 Conditional Execution

A number of architectures provide for some form of conditional execution, or predication. The hallmark of this feature is the ability to nullify most of the instructions in the instruction set. When the instruction set is large and not entirely symmetric, it can be quite tedious to describe these forms directly in the .md file. An alternative is the define_cond_exec template.


predicate-pattern is the condition that must be true for the insn to be executed at runtime and should match a relational operator. One can use match_operator to match several relational operators at once. Any match_operand operands must have no more than one alternative.

condition is a C expression that must be true for the generated pattern to match.

output-template is a string similar to the define_insn output template (see Output Template), except that the ‘*’ and ‘@’ special cases do not apply. This is only useful if the assembly text for the predicate is a simple prefix to the main insn. In order to handle the general case, there is a global variable current_insn_predicate that will contain the entire predicate if the current insn is predicated, and will otherwise be NULL.

optional-insn-attributes is an optional vector of attributes that gets appended to the insn attributes of the produced cond_exec rtx. It can be used to add some distinguishing attribute to cond_exec rtxs produced that way. An example usage would be to use this attribute in conjunction with attributes on the main pattern to disable particular alternatives under certain conditions.

When define_cond_exec is used, an implicit reference to the predicable instruction attribute is made. See Insn Attributes. This attribute must be a boolean (i.e. have exactly two elements in its list-of-values), with the possible values being no and yes. The default and all uses in the insns must be a simple constant, not a complex expressions. It may, however, depend on the alternative, by using a comma-separated list of values. If that is the case, the port should also define an enabled attribute (see Disable Insn Alternatives), which should also allow only no and yes as its values.

For each define_insn for which the predicable attribute is true, a new define_insn pattern will be generated that matches a predicated version of the instruction. For example,

     (define_insn "addsi"
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "register_operand" "r")
             (plus:SI (match_operand:SI 1 "register_operand" "r")
                      (match_operand:SI 2 "register_operand" "r")))]
       "add %2,%1,%0")
       [(ne (match_operand:CC 0 "register_operand" "c")
            (const_int 0))]

generates a new pattern

     (define_insn ""
          (ne (match_operand:CC 3 "register_operand" "c") (const_int 0))
          (set (match_operand:SI 0 "register_operand" "r")
               (plus:SI (match_operand:SI 1 "register_operand" "r")
                        (match_operand:SI 2 "register_operand" "r"))))]
       "(test2) && (test1)"
       "(%3) add %2,%1,%0")