A machine mode describes a size of data object and the representation used
for it. In the C code, machine modes are represented by an enumeration
machine_mode, defined in machmode.def. Each RTL
expression has room for a machine mode and so do certain kinds of tree
expressions (declarations and types, to be precise).
In debugging dumps and machine descriptions, the machine mode of an RTL
expression is written after the expression code with a colon to separate
them. The letters ‘mode’ which appear at the end of each machine mode
name are omitted. For example,
(reg:SI 38) is a
expression with machine mode
SImode. If the mode is
VOIDmode, it is not written at all.
Here is a table of machine modes. The term “byte” below refers to an
BITS_PER_UNIT bits (see Storage Layout).
“Bit” mode represents a single bit, for predicate registers.
“Quarter-Integer” mode represents a single byte treated as an integer.
“Half-Integer” mode represents a two-byte integer.
“Partial Single Integer” mode represents an integer which occupies four bytes but which doesn’t really use all four. On some machines, this is the right mode to use for pointers.
“Single Integer” mode represents a four-byte integer.
“Partial Double Integer” mode represents an integer which occupies eight bytes but which doesn’t really use all eight. On some machines, this is the right mode to use for certain pointers.
“Double Integer” mode represents an eight-byte integer.
“Tetra Integer” (?) mode represents a sixteen-byte integer.
“Octa Integer” (?) mode represents a thirty-two-byte integer.
“Hexadeca Integer” (?) mode represents a sixty-four-byte integer.
“Quarter-Floating” mode represents a quarter-precision (single byte) floating point number.
“Half-Floating” mode represents a half-precision (two byte) floating point number.
“Three-Quarter-Floating” (?) mode represents a three-quarter-precision (three byte) floating point number.
“Single Floating” mode represents a four byte floating point number. In the common case, of a processor with IEEE arithmetic and 8-bit bytes, this is a single-precision IEEE floating point number; it can also be used for double-precision (on processors with 16-bit bytes) and single-precision VAX and IBM types.
“Double Floating” mode represents an eight byte floating point number. In the common case, of a processor with IEEE arithmetic and 8-bit bytes, this is a double-precision IEEE floating point number.
“Extended Floating” mode represents an IEEE extended floating point number. This mode only has 80 meaningful bits (ten bytes). Some processors require such numbers to be padded to twelve bytes, others to sixteen; this mode is used for either.
“Single Decimal Floating” mode represents a four byte decimal floating point number (as distinct from conventional binary floating point).
“Double Decimal Floating” mode represents an eight byte decimal floating point number.
“Tetra Decimal Floating” mode represents a sixteen byte decimal floating point number all 128 of whose bits are meaningful.
“Tetra Floating” mode represents a sixteen byte floating point number all 128 of whose bits are meaningful. One common use is the IEEE quad-precision format.
“Quarter-Fractional” mode represents a single byte treated as a signed fractional number. The default format is “s.7”.
“Half-Fractional” mode represents a two-byte signed fractional number. The default format is “s.15”.
“Single Fractional” mode represents a four-byte signed fractional number. The default format is “s.31”.
“Double Fractional” mode represents an eight-byte signed fractional number. The default format is “s.63”.
“Tetra Fractional” mode represents a sixteen-byte signed fractional number. The default format is “s.127”.
“Unsigned Quarter-Fractional” mode represents a single byte treated as an unsigned fractional number. The default format is “.8”.
“Unsigned Half-Fractional” mode represents a two-byte unsigned fractional number. The default format is “.16”.
“Unsigned Single Fractional” mode represents a four-byte unsigned fractional number. The default format is “.32”.
“Unsigned Double Fractional” mode represents an eight-byte unsigned fractional number. The default format is “.64”.
“Unsigned Tetra Fractional” mode represents a sixteen-byte unsigned fractional number. The default format is “.128”.
“Half-Accumulator” mode represents a two-byte signed accumulator. The default format is “s8.7”.
“Single Accumulator” mode represents a four-byte signed accumulator. The default format is “s16.15”.
“Double Accumulator” mode represents an eight-byte signed accumulator. The default format is “s32.31”.
“Tetra Accumulator” mode represents a sixteen-byte signed accumulator. The default format is “s64.63”.
“Unsigned Half-Accumulator” mode represents a two-byte unsigned accumulator. The default format is “8.8”.
“Unsigned Single Accumulator” mode represents a four-byte unsigned accumulator. The default format is “16.16”.
“Unsigned Double Accumulator” mode represents an eight-byte unsigned accumulator. The default format is “32.32”.
“Unsigned Tetra Accumulator” mode represents a sixteen-byte unsigned accumulator. The default format is “64.64”.
“Condition Code” mode represents the value of a condition code, which
is a machine-specific set of bits used to represent the result of a
comparison operation. Other machine-specific modes may also be used for
the condition code. These modes are not used on machines that use
cc0 (see Condition Code).
“Block” mode represents values that are aggregates to which none of
the other modes apply. In RTL, only memory references can have this mode,
and only if they appear in string-move or vector instructions. On machines
which have no such instructions,
BLKmode will not appear in RTL.
Void mode means the absence of a mode or an unspecified mode.
For example, RTL expressions of code
const_int have mode
VOIDmode because they can be taken to have whatever mode the context
requires. In debugging dumps of RTL,
VOIDmode is expressed by
the absence of any mode.
QCmode, HCmode, SCmode, DCmode, XCmode, TCmode
These modes stand for a complex number represented as a pair of floating
point values. The floating point values are in
CQImode, CHImode, CSImode, CDImode, CTImode, COImode, CPSImode
These modes stand for a complex number represented as a pair of integer
values. The integer values are in
These modes stand for bounds for pointer of 32 and 64 bit size respectively. Mode size is double pointer mode size.
The machine description defines
Pmode as a C macro which expands
into the machine mode used for addresses. Normally this is the mode
whose size is
SImode on 32-bit machines.
The only modes which a machine description must support are
QImode, and the modes corresponding to
The compiler will attempt to use
DImode for 8-byte structures and
unions, but this can be prevented by overriding the definition of
MAX_FIXED_MODE_SIZE. Alternatively, you can have the compiler
TImode for 16-byte structures and unions. Likewise, you can
arrange for the C type
short int to avoid using
Very few explicit references to machine modes remain in the compiler and
these few references will soon be removed. Instead, the machine modes
are divided into mode classes. These are represented by the enumeration
enum mode_class defined in machmode.h. The possible
mode classes are:
Integer modes. By default these are
The “partial integer” modes,
Floating point modes. By default these are
Decimal floating point modes. By default these are
Signed fractional modes. By default these are
Unsigned fractional modes. By default these are
Signed accumulator modes. By default these are
Unsigned accumulator modes. By default these are
Complex integer modes. (These are not currently implemented).
Complex floating point modes. By default these are
Algol or Pascal function variables including a static chain. (These are not currently implemented).
Modes representing condition code values. These are
CC_MODE modes listed in the machine-modes.def.
See Jump Patterns,
also see Condition Code.
Pointer bounds modes. Used to represent values of pointer bounds type. Operations in these modes may be executed as NOPs depending on hardware features and environment setup.
This is a catchall mode class for modes which don’t fit into the above
BLKmode are in
machmode.h also defines various wrapper classes that combine a
machine_mode with a static assertion that a particular
condition holds. The classes are:
A mode that has class
A mode that has class
A mode that holds a single numerical value. In practice this means
that the mode is a
scalar_int_mode, is a
or has class
A mode that has class
A mode whose size is known at compile time.
Named modes use the most constrained of the available wrapper classes,
if one exists, otherwise they use
machine_mode. For example,
QImode is a
SFmode is a
BLKmode is a plain
machine_mode. It is possible to refer to any mode as a raw
machine_mode by adding the
E_ prefix, where
stands for “enumeration”. For example, the raw
names of the modes just mentioned are
The wrapper classes implicitly convert to
machine_mode and to any
wrapper class that represents a more general condition; for example
scalar_float_mode both convert
scalar_mode and all three convert to
The classes act like
machine_modes that accept only certain
machmode.h also defines a template class
that holds a
T or nothing, where
T can be either
machine_mode or one of the wrapper classes above. The main
operations on an
opt_mode<T> x are as follows:
Return true if x holds a mode rather than nothing.
Return true if x holds a mode rather than nothing, storing the mode in y if so. y must be assignment-compatible with T.
Assert that x holds a mode rather than nothing and return that mode.
Set x to y, where y is a T or implicitly converts to a T.
The default constructor sets an
opt_mode<T> to nothing.
There is also a constructor that takes an initial value of type T.
It is possible to use the is-a.h accessors on a
or machine mode wrapper x:
Return true if x meets the conditions for wrapper class T.
Return true if x meets the conditions for wrapper class T, storing it in y if so. y must be assignment-compatible with T.
Assert that x meets the conditions for wrapper class T and return it as a T.
opt_mode<T> that holds x if x meets
the conditions for wrapper class T and that holds nothing otherwise.
The purpose of these wrapper classes is to give stronger static type
checking. For example, if a function takes a
a caller that has a general
machine_mode must either check or
assert that the code is indeed a scalar integer first, using one of
the functions above.
The wrapper classes are normal C++ classes, with user-defined
constructors. Sometimes it is useful to have a POD version of
the same type, particularly if the type appears in a
The template class
pod_mode<T> provides a POD version
of wrapper class T. It is assignment-compatible with T
and implicitly converts to both
machine_mode and T.
Here are some C macros that relate to machine modes:
Returns the machine mode of the RTX x.
PUT_MODE (x, newmode)
Alters the machine mode of the RTX x to be newmode.
Stands for the number of machine modes available on the target machine. This is one greater than the largest numeric value of any machine mode.
Returns the name of mode m as a string.
Returns the mode class of mode m.
Returns the next wider natural mode. For example, the expression
GET_MODE_WIDER_MODE (QImode) returns
Returns the size in bytes of a datum of mode m.
Returns the size in bits of a datum of mode m.
Returns the number of integral bits of a datum of fixed-point mode m.
Returns the number of fractional bits of a datum of fixed-point mode m.
Returns a bitmask containing 1 for all bits in a word that fit within
mode m. This macro can only be used for modes whose bitsize is
less than or equal to
Return the required alignment, in bits, for an object of mode m.
Returns the size in bytes of the subunits of a datum of mode m.
This is the same as
GET_MODE_SIZE except in the case of complex
modes. For them, the unit size is the size of the real or imaginary
Returns the number of units contained in a mode, i.e.,
GET_MODE_SIZE divided by
Returns the narrowest mode in mode class c.
The following 3 variables are defined on every target. They can be used to allocate buffers that are guaranteed to be large enough to hold any value that can be represented on the target. The first two can be overridden by defining them in the target’s mode.def file, however, the value must be a constant that can determined very early in the compilation process. The third symbol cannot be overridden.
The number of bits in an addressable storage unit (byte). If you do not define this, the default is 8.
The maximum bitsize of any mode that is used in integer math. This should be overridden by the target if it uses large integers as containers for larger vectors but otherwise never uses the contents to compute integer values.
The bitsize of the largest mode on the target. The default value is
the largest mode size given in the mode definition file, which is
always correct for targets whose modes have a fixed size. Targets
that might increase the size of a mode beyond this default should define
MAX_BITSIZE_MODE_ANY_MODE to the actual upper limit in
The global variables
word_mode contain modes
whose classes are
MODE_INT and whose bitsizes are either
BITS_PER_WORD, respectively. On 32-bit
machines, these are