simd branch ready for review/merge

Carter Schonwald carter.schonwald at
Mon Sep 16 19:43:38 UTC 2013

Awesome work Geoff!  I look forward to looking at this / playing with it


On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Geoffrey Mainland <mainland at>wrote:

> The SIMD branch, available as wip/simd, is ready for review/merge. It
> could use some review---Simon and Simon, I'd be especially grateful if
> you both had a quick look. Some major points:
> 1) I have added support for AVX 512, although this is necessarily
> untested. AVX and AVX2 are also both supported.
> 2) After the recent churn regarding patching LLVM's GHC calling
> convention, by default only 128-bit wide SIMD vectors are passed in
> registers, and then only on X86_64. There is a "hidden" flag,
> -fllvm-pass-vectors-in-regs, that causes GHC to generate LLVM code that
> assumes all vectors are passed in registers by LLVM. This can be used
> with a suitably patched version of LLVM, and if we get LLVM 3.4 patched,
> we can consider turning it on by default for LLVM 3.4+. This would mean
> that we couldn't mix LLVM <3.3-compiled object files with LLVM
> >3.4-compiled object files, but I don't see that as much of a problem.
> 3) utils/genprimcode has been hacked up to allow us to write vector
> operations once and have them instantiated at multiple vector types. I'm
> not thrilled with this solution, but after discussing with Simon PJ,
> what I've implemented seems to be the minimal reasonable solution to the
> problem of exploding primop boilerplate. The changes are documented in
> compiler/prelude/primops.txt.pp.
> 4) Error handling is sub-optimal. My patch checks to make sure that
> vector primops can be compiled efficiently based on the current set of
> dynamic flags. For example, if -mavx is not specified and the user tries
> to use a primop that adds together two 256-bit wide vectors of
> double-precision elements, the user will see an error message like:
> ghc-stage2: sorry! (unimplemented feature or known bug)
>   (GHC version 7.7.20130916 for x86_64-unknown-linux):
>     256-bit wide floating point SIMD vector instructions require at
> least -mavx.
> This is because the only good place to check for this kind of error is
> during STG->Cmm translation (in compiler/codeGen/StgCmmPrim.hs), and we
> don't have much of an error handling infrastructure there in contrast to
> when we're working in the typechecking/renaming monad. If there is a
> better way/place to do this, please let me know.
> Thanks,
> Geoff
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