[PATCH,rs6000] Add -maltivec={le,be} options

Bill Schmidt wschmidt@linux.vnet.ibm.com
Tue Jan 7 22:06:00 GMT 2014

On Tue, 2014-01-07 at 21:51 +0000, Joseph S. Myers wrote:
> On Tue, 7 Jan 2014, Bill Schmidt wrote:
> > +@item -maltivec=be
> > +@opindex maltivec=be
> > +Generate Altivec instructions using big-endian element order,
> > +regardless of whether the target is big- or little-endian.
> > +
> > +@item -maltivec=le
> > +@opindex maltivec=le
> > +Generate Altivec instructions using little-endian element order,
> > +regardless of whether the target is big- or little-endian.  This
> > +option is currently ignored for big-endian targets, but may be enabled
> > +in the future.
> I don't understand what "using big-endian element order" or "using 
> little-endian element order" means.  Is this about the interpretation of 
> element numbers in AltiVec intrinsics?  (In GNU C vector indexing with 
> array notation, GENERIC, GIMPLE and RTL, vector element numbers are always 
> in memory order like in arrays, so a command-line option like this 
> *shouldn't* affect anything other than intrinsics.  Cf. the ARM NEON code 
> that deals with flipping element order conventions for big endian so that 
> intrinsics can follow the ARM convention while GNU C, GENERIC, GIMPLE and 
> RTL follow the convention that the architecture-independent compiler 
> expects.)

Yes, sorry for not being more clear.  This is indeed for interpretation
of element numbers in Altivec intrinsics such as vec_splat, vec_extract,
vec_insert, and so forth.  By default these will match array element
order for the target endianness.  But with -maltivec=be for a little
endian target, we will force use of big-endian element order (matching
the behavior of the underlying hardware instructions).

There are certain VSX load and store instructions that assume big-endian
ordering of vector elements in a register regardless of target
endianness.  Applications developed for Power BE that use these
instructions via intrinsics will be easier to port to Power LE with

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