|[4 earlier articles]|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA Kahrs.Juergen@stn-atlas.de (Juergen Kahrs) (2000-10-12)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA firstname.lastname@example.org (Erik Corry) (2000-10-12)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA email@example.com (2000-10-12)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA firstname.lastname@example.org (2000-10-15)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA email@example.com (David Thompson) (2000-10-18)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA firstname.lastname@example.org (2000-10-18)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA email@example.com (Dietrich Epp) (2000-10-19)|
|Re: Branch prediction hints in an ISA firstname.lastname@example.org (2000-10-19)|
|From:||Dietrich Epp <email@example.com>|
|Date:||19 Oct 2000 14:28:05 -0400|
|References:||00-10-078 00-10-092 00-10-106|
On 15 Oct 2000, Zoltan Somogyi wrote:
> Erik Corry <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> >But according to the Alpha optimisation guide, if you know
> >which way a branch is likely to go it is almost always worth
> >moving the less taken branch to somewhere completely different.
> >This reduces the working set. If you move it to the end of
> >the function then it will be a forward branch, and so will be
> >predicted not taken.
> Absolutely; with most modern machines, one wants to minimize the
> number of taken branches, whether the branch is predicted or not.
> However, there are occasions where you cannot follow this piece of
> advice. One such sitation is where a basic block ends with a
> conditional branch to its own start; putting a basic block *after*
> itself is pretty tough :-) Therefore having a mechanism that tells the
> branch predictor that a branch should be predicted to be taken is
> still useful.
For the PowerPC chip, branch instructions include a bit which tells
the processor which way to predict the branch. To make a long story
short, correctly predicted branches incur a performance hit so small
it usually doesn't affect thoroughput. This way the compiler (or
assembly programmer) can use their ingenuity to determine the correct
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