Altivec and binary compatibility

Giuliano Pochini pochini at
Wed Feb 9 07:11:51 EST 2000

> > Because with Altivec we need to save V registers, right ?  Well, I suppose
> > intel developers had the same problem with P-III "vector" unit. How did they
> > solve the problem ?
> As far as I can tell, by ignoring it, and making the assumption that
> only low-level libraries will use the vector registers.

mm :-/

> I plan to take
> a similar approach, and warn users not to mix Altivec and exceptions.

>From altivec p. e. m.: "1.2.6 - The AltiVec vector unit never generates an

I just started to read the book, but I think AltiVec tells nothing even on
things like divisions by 0, etc.

> > > To add to the problem, throwing exceptions on an error is just what a
> > > modern C++ library is supposed to do.  Throwing or catching an exception
> > > in Altivec code will produce sequences that cannot execute on a G3
> >
> > Why ?? (sorry for my ignorance...)
> I haven't studied GCC's implementation of exceptions in great detail.
> The compiler saves and restores all the non-transient registers as part
> of the exception sequence. When generating Altivec code this produces
> stvx and lvx instructions, which will cause an illegal instruction
> exception on G3 processors.

Ok, the programmmer will have to check for AltiVec at the beginning of the
program. What's really important is that programs compiled for 603, 604, G3,
will work fine on G4.


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