Simple-V Vectorisation for the OpenPOWER ISA

SV is in DRAFT STATUS. SV has not yet been submitted to the OpenPOWER Foundation ISA WG for review.

Fundamental design principles:

  • Simplicity of introduction and implementation on the existing OpenPOWER ISA
  • Effectively a hardware for-loop, pausing PC, issuing multiple scalar operations
  • Preserving the underlying scalar execution dependencies as if the for-loop had been expanded as actual scalar instructions (termed "preserving Program Order")
  • Augments ("tags") existing instructions, providing Vectorisation "context" rather than adding new ones.
  • Does not modify or deviate from the underlying scalar OpenPOWER ISA unless it provides significant performance or other advantage to do so in the Vector space (dropping XER.SO and OE=1 for example)

Advantages of these design principles:

  • It is therefore easy to create a first (and sometimes only) implementation as literally a for-loop in hardware, simulators, and compilers.
  • More complex HDL can be done by repeating existing scalar ALUs and pipelines as blocks.
  • As (mostly) a high-level "context" that does not (significantly) deviate from scalar OpenPOWER ISA and, in its purest form being "a for loop around scalar instructions", it is minimally-disruptive and consequently stands a reasonable chance of broad community adoption and acceptance
  • Completely wipes not just SIMD opcode proliferation off the map (SIMD is O(N6) opcode proliferation) but off of Vectorisation ISAs as well. No more separate Vector instructions.

Pages being developed and examples

Additional links: