csum_partial() and csum_partial_copy_generic() in badly optimized?

Joakim Tjernlund Joakim.Tjernlund at lumentis.se
Sat Nov 16 21:16:21 EST 2002

Hi Tim

Thanks for your answer. See inline below

> On Friday, November 15, 2002, at 03:01  PM, Joakim Tjernlund wrote:
> > This comment in csum_partial:
> > /* the bdnz has zero overhead, so it should */
> > /* be unnecessary to unroll this loop */
> >
> > got me wondering(code included last). A instruction can not have zero
> > cost/overhead.
> > This instruction must be eating cycles. I think this function needs
> > unrolling, but  I am pretty
> > useless on assembler so I need help.
> >
> > Can any PPC/assembler guy comment on this and, if needed, do the
> > unrolling? I think  6 or 8 as unroll step will be enough.
> The comment is probably correct.  The reason the instruction has
> (effectively) zero overhead is that most PowerPCs have a feature which
> "folds" predicted-taken branches out of the instruction stream before
> they are dispatched.  This effectively makes the branch cost 0 cycles,
> as it does not occupy integer execution resources as it would on other
> possible microarchitectures.
hmm, I am on a mpc860 and I get big performace improvements if I apply
unrolling. Consider the standard CRC32 funtion:
while(len--) {
        result = (result << 8 | *data++) ^ crctab[result >> 24];
If I apply manual unrolling or compile with -funroll-loops I get
> 20% performance increase. Is this a special case or is
the mpc860 doing a bad job?

> With current hardware trends loop unrolling can often be an
> anti-optimization.  Even without loop overhead reduction features like
> branch folding, it may be a net penalty just because you are chewing up
> more I-cache and causing more memory traffic to fill it.  Consider the
> costs:
> Reading a cache line (8 instructions, 4-beat burst assuming 4-1-1-1
> cycle timing, which is optimistic) from 133 MHz SDRAM:  52.5 ns
> 1 processor core cycle at 1 GHz: 1 ns
> So every time you do something that causes a cache line miss, you could
> have executed 50+ instructions instead.  This only gets worse when you
> consider more realistic memory timing (I don't know offhand whether you
> can really get 4-1-1-1 burst timing with PC133 under any circumstances,
> and besides it's going to be much worse than 4 cycles for the initial
> beat if you don't get a page hit).

For a big loop(many iterations) this can not be a problem, right?
csum_partial() often has more than 1000 bytes to checksum.

> That's not to say that unrolling is useless these days, just that the
> disparity between memory and processor core speed means that you have
> to be careful in deciding when to apply it and to what extent.

It would seem that loop unrolling is working fine for 8xx, would
you mind doing an unrolling of that function for me to test?

It is only 8xx that needs this, just add a #ifdef CONFIG_8xx


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