Reproduction micros

ben bfranchuk at
Mon Jul 25 06:54:51 CDT 2016

On 7/25/2016 3:31 AM, Peter Corlett wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 11:59:59AM -0700, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> [..]
>> Something that's always bothered me about three-address architectures like
>> ARM is why there is the insistence on that scheduling bottleneck, the
>> condition code register? You can see how two-address architectures like the
>> x80 and x86 try to get around the problem by having certain instructions not
>> modify certain condition code bits and even have specialized instructions,
>> such as JCXZ, that don't reply on a specific condition code.
>> Anyone have a clue?
> The condition code register can be treated as a regular register that partakes
> in register renaming. Effectively, you have *many* CCRs in flight, so only
> *reads* of the register may cause stalls. These reads are usually branches, so
> there's branch prediction caches to try and deal with those stalls.
> Unsurprisingly, the x86 ISA is brain-damaged here, in that some instructions
> (e.g. inc") only affect some bits in EFLAGS, which causes a partial register
> stall. The recommended "fix" is to avoid such instructions.
> Eliminating condition codes just moves the complexity from the ALU to the
> branch logic (which now needs its own mini-ALU for comparisons), and there's
> not much in it either way. Where it *does* win is that the useful instructions
> are all single-output and so one can use the noddy code generators found in
> undergraduate-level compiler construction textbooks such as the Dragon Book.
I favor testing a register rather than using  flags.(I also like 9 bit 
bytes too).
The other factor is that
the 3 big computers at the time IBM 360/370's PDP 10 and PDP 11 where 
machines when the Dragon Book came out thus you favored register style 
code generators. Later you got the Pascal style one pass generators that 
is still with us. After that the Intel hardware mess, and the growth of 
(to me useless languages like C++ or JAVA) or features like OBJECTS has 
made every thing so complex, that only few people can even
understand just what a compiler is doing.

PS: Has computer science really advanced since the late 1970's?
What about hardware?

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