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Re: [RL78] Questions about code-generation

On 22/03/14 01:47, Jeff Law wrote:
On 03/21/14 18:35, DJ Delorie wrote:

I've found that "removing uneeded moves through registers" is
something gcc does poorly in the post-reload optimizers.  I've written
my own on some occasions (for rl78 too).  Perhaps this is a good
starting point to look at?

much needless copying, which strengthens my suspicion that it's
something in the RL78 backend that needs 'tweaking'.

Of course it is, I've said that before I think.  The RL78 uses a
virtual model until reload, then converts each virtual instructions
into multiple real instructions, then optimizes the result.  This is
going to be worse than if the real model had been used throughout
(like arm or x86), but in this case, the real model *can't* be used
throughout, because gcc can't understand it well enough to get through
regalloc and reload.  The RL78 is just to "weird" to be modelled

I keep hoping that gcc's own post-reload optimizers would do a better
job, though.  Combine should be able to combine, for example, the "mov
r8,ax; cmp r8,#4" types of insns together.
The virtual register file was the only way I could see to make RL78
work.  I can't recall the details, but when you described the situation
to me the virtual register file was the only way I could see to make the
RL78 work in the IRA+reload world.

What would be quite interesting to try would be to continue to use the
virtualized register set, but instead use the IRA+LRA path.  Presumably
that wouldn't be terribly hard to try and there's a reasonable chance
that'll improve the code in a noticeable way.

Looking at how that's done by other backends, as far as I can tell, I just need to add something like:

#undef  TARGET_LRA_P
#define TARGET_LRA_P rl78_enable_lra

static bool
rl78_enable_lra (void)
  return true;

to rl78.c? At least in theory, even if other work is needed elsewhere to make things run smoothly.

Unfortunately, that function never seems to be called.

How does TARGET_LRA_P get used, anyway? I can't find anything that tries to use it, only places where it gets set. Is there some funky preprocessor stuff going on that's stopping me grepping for it?

The next obvious thing to try, and it's probably a lot more work, would
be to see if IRA+LRA is smart enough (or can be made so with a
reasonable amount of work) to eliminate the virtual register file

Just to be clear, I'm not planning to work on this; my participation and
interest in the RL78 was limited to providing a few tips to DJ.

And from my side, I'm not trying to get anyone to work on it (though obviously I'm not averse to it). I'm just looking for hints and tips so that I can try to understand the causes (and hopefully find some solutions).



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