OPF ISA WG External RFC LS001 v3 24mar2023

This proposal is to extend the Power ISA with an Abstract RISC-Paradigm Vectorization Concept that may be orthogonally applied to all and any suitable Scalar instructions, present and future, in the Scalar Power ISA. The Vectorization System is called "Simple-V" and the Prefix Format is called "SVP64". Simple-V is not a Traditional Vector ISA and therefore does not add Vector opcodes or regfiles. An ISA Concept similar to Simple-V was originally invented in 1994 by Peter Hsu (Architect of the MIPS R8000) but was dropped as MIPS did not have an Out-of-Order Microarchitecture at the time.

Simple-V is designed for Embedded Scenarios right the way through Audio/Visual DSPs to 3D GPUs and Supercomputing. As it does not add actual Vector Instructions, relying solely and exclusively on the Scalar ISA, it is Scalar instructions that need to be added to the Scalar Power ISA before Simple-V may orthogonally Vectorize them.

The goal of RED Semiconductor Ltd, an OpenPOWER Stakeholder, is to bring to market mass-volume general-purpose compute processors that are competitive in the 3D GPU Audio Visual DSP EDGE IoT desktop chromebook netbook smartphone laptop markets, performance-leveraged by Simple-V. To achieve this goal both Simple-V and accompanying Scalar Power ISA instructions are needed. These include IEEE754 Transcendentals AV cryptographic Biginteger and bitmanipulation operations present in ARM Intel AMD and many other ISAs. Three additional FP-related sets are needed (missing from SFFS) - int_fp_mv fclass and fcvt and one set named crweird increase the capability of CR Fields.

Thus as the primary motivation is to create a Hybrid 3D CPU-GPU-VPU ISA it becomes necesary to consider the Architectural Resource Allocation of not just Simple-V but the 80-100 Scalar instructions all at the same time.

It is also critical to note that Simple-V does not modify the Scalar Power ISA, that only Scalar words may be Vectorized, and that Vectorized instructions are not permitted to be different from their Scalar words (addi must use the same Word encoding as sv.addi, and any new Prefixed instruction added must also be added as Scalar). The sole semi-exception is Vectorized Branch Conditional, in order to provide the usual Advanced Branching capability present in every Commercial 3D GPU ISA, but it is the Vectorized Branch-Conditional that is augmented, not Scalar Branch.

Basic principle

The inspiration for Simple-V came from the fact that on examination of every Vector ISA pseudocode encountered the Vector operations were expressed as a for-loop on a Scalar element operation, and then both a Scalar and a Vector instruction was added. With Zero-Overhead Looping already being common for over four decades it felt natural to separate the looping at both the ISA and the Hardware Level and thus provide only Scalar instructions (instantly halving the number of instructions), but rather than go the VLIW route (TI MSP Series) keep closely to existing Power ISA standard Scalar execution.

Thus the basic principle of Simple-V is to provide a Precise-Interruptible Zero-Overhead Loop system1 with associated register "offsetting" which augments a Suffixed instruction as a "template", incrementing the register numbering progressively and automatically each time round the "loop". Thus it may be considered to be a form of "Sub-Program-Counter" and at its simplest level can replace a large sequence of regularly-increasing loop-unrolled instructions with just two: one to set the Vector length and one saying where to start from in the regfile.

On this sound and profoundly simple concept which leverages Scalar Micro-architectural capabilities much more comprehensive festures are easy to add, working up towards an ISA that easily matches the capability of powerful 3D GPU Vector Supercomputing ISAs, without ever adding even one single Vector opcode.

Extension Levels

Simple-V has been subdivided into levels akin to the Power ISA Compliancy Levels. For now let us call them "SV Extension Levels" to differentiate the two. The reason for the SV Extension Levels is the same as for the Power ISA Compliancy Levels (SFFS, SFS): to not overburden implementors with features that they do not need. There is no dependence between the two types of Levels. The resources below therefore are not all required for all SV Extension Levels but they are all required to be reserved.

Binary Interoperability

Power ISA has a reputation as being long-term stable. Simple-V guarantees binary interoperability by defining fixed register file bitwidths and size for a given set of instructions. The seduction of permitting different implementors to choose a register file bitwidth and size with the same instructions unfortunately has the catastrophic side-effect of introducing not only binary incompatibility but silent data corruption as well as no means to trap-and-emulate differing bitwidths.2

"Silicon-Partner" Scalability is identical to attempting to run 64-bit Power ISA binaries without setting - or having MSR.SF - on "Scaled" 32-bit hardware: the same opcodes were shared between 32 and 64 bit. RESERVED space is thus crucial to have, in order to provide the OPF ISA WG - not implementors ("Silicon Partners") - with the option to properly review and decide any (if any) future expanded register file bitwidths and sizes3, under explicitly-distinguishable encodings so as to guarantee long-term stability and binary interoperability.

Hardware Implementations

The fundamental principle of Simple-V is that it sits between Issue and Decode, pausing the Program-Counter to service a "Sub-PC" hardware for-loop. This is very similar to Zero-Overhead Loops in High-end DSPs (TI MSP Series).

Considerable effort has been expended to ensure that Simple-V is practical to implement on an extremely wide range of Industry-wide common Scalar micro-architectures. Finite State Machine (for ultra-low-resource and Mission-Critical), In-order single-issue, all the way through to Great-Big Out-of-Order Superscalar Multi-Issue. The SV Extension Levels specifically recognise these differing scenarios.

SIMD back-end ALUs particularly those with element-level predicate masks may be exploited to good effect with very little additional complexity to achieve high throughput, even on a single-issue in-order microarchitecture. As usually becomes quickly apparent with in-order, its limitations extend also to when Simple-V is deployed, which is why Multi-Issue Out-of-Order is the recommended (but not mandatory) Scalar Micro-architecture. Byte-level write-enable regfiles (like SRAMs) are strongly recommended, to avoid a Read-Modify-Write cycle.

The only major concern is in the upper SV Extension Levels: the Hazard Management for increased number of Scalar Registers to 128 (in current versions) but given that IBM POWER9/10 has VSX register numbering 64, and modern GPUs have 128, 256 and even 512 registers this was deemed acceptable. Strategies do exist in hardware for Hazard Management of such large numbers of registers, even for Multi-Issue microarchitectures.

Simple-V Architectural Resources

  • No new Interrupt types are required. No modifications to existing Power ISA opcodes are required. No new Register Files are required (all because Simple-V is a category of Zero-Overhead Looping on Scalar instructions)
  • GPR FPR and CR Field Register extend to 128. A future version may extend to 256 or beyond4 or also extend VSX5
  • 24-bits are needed within the main SVP64 Prefix (equivalent to a 2-bit XO)
  • Another 24-bit (a second 2-bit XO) is needed for a planned future encoding, currently named "SVP64-Single"6
  • A third 24-bits (third 2-bit XO) is strongly recommended to be RESERVED such that future unforeseen capability is needed (although this may be alternatively achieved with a mandatory PCR or MSR bit)
  • To hold all Vector Context, four SPRs are needed. (Some 32/32-to-64 aliases are advantageous but not critical).
  • Five 6-bit XO (A-Form) "Management" instructions are needed. These are Scalar 32-bit instructions and may be 64-bit-extended in future as EXT1xx Encodings.

Summary of Simple-V Opcode space

  • 50% of a new 64-bit Encoding (PO9)
  • Five 6-bit XO 32-bit "Management" operations.

No further opcode space for Simple-V is envisaged to be required for at least the next decade (including if added on VSX). EXT1xx variants of the Management Operations are anticipated for a future revision.

Simple-V SPRs

  • SVSTATE - 64-bit Vectorization State sufficient for Precise-Interrupt Context-switching and no adverse latency, it may be considered to be a "Sub-PC" and as such absolutely must be treated with the same respect and priority as MSR and PC.
  • SVSHAPE0-3 - these are 32-bit and may be grouped in pairs, they REMAP (shape) the Vectors7
  • SVLR - again similar to LR for exactly the same purpose, SVSTATE is swapped with SVLR by SV-Branch-Conditional for exactly the same reason that NIA is swapped with LR

Resource Allocation Note: Allocation of SVSTATE needs to take into consideration seven additional future SVSTATE SPRs to be used as a "stack" as part of a full Zero-Overhead Loop Control subsystem.

Vector Management Instructions

These fit into QTY 5of 6-bit XO 32-bit encoding (svshape and svshape2 share the same space):

  • setvl - Cray-style Scalar Vector Length instruction
  • svstep - used for Vertical-First Mode and for enquiring about internal state
  • svremap - "tags" registers for activating REMAP
  • svshape - convenience instruction for quickly setting up Matrix, DCT, FFT and Parallel Reduction REMAP
  • svshape2 - additional convenience instruction to set up "Offset" REMAP (fits within svshape's XO encoding)
  • svindex - convenience instruction for setting up "Indexed" REMAP.

Resource Allocation Note: these must be allocated in EXT0xx as they will be EXT1xx Prefixed in future.


SVP64 24-bit Prefixes

The SVP64 24-bit Prefix (RM) options aim to reduce instruction count and assembler complexity. These Modes do not interact with SVSTATE per se. SVSTATE primarily controls the looping (quantity, order), RM influences the elements (the Suffix). There is however some close interaction when it comes to predication. REMAP is outlined separately.

  • element-width overrides, which dynamically redefine each SFFS or SFS Scalar prefixed instruction to be 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit or 64-bit operands without requiring new 8/16/32 instructions.8 This results in full BF16 and FP16 opcodes being added to the Power ISA without adding BF16 or FP16 opcodes including full conversion between all formats.
  • predication. this is an absolutely essential feature for a 3D GPU VPU ISA. CR Fields are available as Predicate Masks hence the reason for their extension to 128. Twin-Predication is also provided: this may best be envisaged as back-to-back VGATHER-VSCATTER but is not restricted to LD/ST, its use saves on instruction count. Enabling one or other of the predicates provides all of the other types of operations found in Vector ISAs (VEXTRACT, VINSERT etc) again with no need to actually provide explicit such instructions.
  • Saturation. applies to all LD/ST and Arithmetic and Logical operations (without adding explicit saturation ops)
  • Reduction and Prefix-Sum (Fibonnacci Series) Modes, including a "Reverse Gear" (running loops backwards).
  • vec2/3/4 "Packing" and "Unpacking" (similar to VSX vpack and vpkss) accessible in a way that is easier than REMAP, added for the same reasons that drove vpack and vpkss etc. to be added: pixel, audio, and 3D data manipulation. With Pack/Unpack being part of SVSTATE it can be applied in-place saving register file space (no copy/mv needed).
  • Load/Store "fault-first" speculative behaviour, identical to SVE and RVV Fault-first: provides auto-truncation of a speculative sequential parallel LD/ST batch, helping solve the "SIMD Considered Harmful" stripmining problem from a Memory Access perspective.
  • Data-Dependent Fail-First: a 100% Deterministic extension of the LDST ffirst concept: first Rc=1 BO test failure terminates looping and truncates VL to that exact point. Useful for implementing algorithms such as strcpy in around 14 high-performance Vector instructions, the option exists to include or exclude the failing element.

RM Modes

There are five primary categories of instructions in Power ISA, each of which needed slightly different Modes. For example, saturation and element-width overrides are meaningless to Condition Register Field operations, and Reduction is meaningless to LD/ST but Saturation saves register file ports in critical hot-loops. Thus the 24 bits may be suitably adapted to each category.

  • Normal - arithmetic and logical including IEEE754 FP
  • LD/ST immediate - includes element-strided and unit-strided
  • LD/ST indexed
  • CR Field ops
  • Branch-Conditional - saves on instruction count in 3D parallel if/else

It does have to be pointed out that there is huge pressure on the Mode bits. There was therefore insufficient room, unlike the way that EXT001 was designed, to provide "identifying bits" without first partially decoding the Suffix.

Some considerable care has been taken to ensure that Decoding may be performed in a strict forward-pipelined fashion that, aside from changes in SVSTATE (necessarily cached and propagated alongside MSR and PC) and aside from the initial 32/64 length detection (also kept simple), a Multi-Issue Engine would have no difficulty (performance maximisable). With the initial partial RM Mode type-identification decode performed above the Vector operations may then easily be passed downstream in a fully forward-progressive piplined fashion to independent parallel units for further analysis.

Vectorized Branch-Conditional

As mentioned in the introduction this is the one sole instruction group that is different pseudocode from its scalar equivalent. However even there its various Mode bits and options can be set such that in the degenerate case the behaviour becomes identical to Scalar Branch-Conditional.

The two additional Modes within Vectorized Branch-Conditional, both of which may be combined, are CTR-Mode and VLI-Test (aka "Data Fail First"). CTR Mode extends the way that CTR may be decremented unconditionally within Scalar Branch-Conditional, and not only makes it conditional but also interacts with predication. VLI-Test provides the same option as Data-Dependent Fault-First to Deterministically truncate the Vector Length at the fail or success point.

Boolean Logic rules on sets (treating the Vector of CR Fields to be tested by BO as a set) dictate that the Branch should take place on either 'ALL' tests succeeding (or failing) or whether 'SOME' tests succeed (or fail). These options provide the ability to cover the majority of Parallel 3D GPU Conditions, saving up to twelve instructions especially given the close interaction with CTR in hot-loops.9

Also SVLR is introduced, which is a parallel twin of LR, and saving and restoring of LR and SVLR may be deferred until the final decision as to whether to branch. In this way sv.bclrl does not corrupt LR.

Vectorized Branch-Conditional due to its side-effects (e.g. reducing CTR or truncating VL) has practical uses even if the Branch is deliberately set to the next instruction (CIA+8). For example it may be used to reduce CTR by the number of bits set in a GPR, if that GPR is given as the predicate mask sv.bc/pm=r3.

LD/ST RM Modes

Traditional Vector ISAs have vastly more (and more complex) addressing modes than Scalar ISAs: unit strided, element strided, Indexed, Structure Packing. All of these had to be jammed in on top of existing Scalar instructions without modifying or adding new Scalar instructions. A small conceptual "cheat" was therefore needed. The Immediate (D) is in some Modes multiplied by the element index, which gives us element-strided. For unit-strided the width of the operation (ld, 8 byte) is multiplied by the element index and substituted for "D" when the immediate, D, is zero. Modifications to support this "cheat" on top of pre-existing Scalar HDL (and Simulators) have both turned out to be minimal.10 Also added was the option to perform signed or unsigned Effective Address calculation, which comes into play only on LD/ST Indexed, when elwidth overrides are used. Another quirk: RA is never allowed to have its width altered: it remains 64-bit, as it is the Base Address.

One confusing thing is the unfortunate naming of LD/ST Indexed and REMAP Indexed: some care is taken in the spec to discern the two. LD/ST Indexed is Scalar EA=RA+RB (where either RA or RB may be marked as Vectorized), where obviously the order in which that Vector of RA (or RB) is read in the usual linear sequential fashion. REMAP Indexed affects the order in which the Vector of RA (or RB) is accessed, according to a schedule determined by another vector of offsets in the register file. Effectively this combines VSX vperm back-to-back with LD/ST operations in the calculation of each Effective Address in one instruction.

For DCT and FFT, normally it is very expensive to perform the "bit-inversion" needed for address calculation and/or reordering of elements. DCT in particular needs both bit-inversion and Gray-Coding offsets (a complexity that often "justifies" full assembler loop-unrolling). DCT/FFT REMAP automatically performs the required offset adjustment to get data loaded and stored in the required order. Matrix REMAP can likewise perform up to 3 Dimensions of reordering (on both Immediate and Indexed), and when combined with vec2/3/4 the reordering can even go as far as four dimensions (four nested fixed size loops).

Twin Predication is worth a special mention. Many Vector ISAs have special LD/ST VCOMPRESS and VREDUCE instructions, which sequentially skip elements based on predicate mask bits. They also add special VINSERT and VEXTRACT Register-based instructions to compensate for lack of single-element LD/ST (where in Simple-V you just use Scalar LD/ST). Also Broadcasting (VSPLAT) is either added to LDST or as Register-based.

All of the above modes are covered by Twin-Predication

In particular, a special predicate mode 1<<r3 uses the register r3 binary value, converted to single-bit unary mask, effectively as a single (Scalar) Index runtime-dynamic offset into a Vector.11 Combined with the (mis-named) "mapreduce" mode when used as a source predicate a VSPLAT (broadcast) is performed. When used as a destination predicate 1<<r3 provides VINSERT behaviour.

Also worth an explicit mention is that Twin Predication when using different source from destination predicate masks effectively combines back-to-back VCOMPRESS and VEXPAND (in a single instruction), and, further, that the benefits of Twin Predication are not limited to LD/ST, they may be applied to Arithmetic, Logical and CR Field operations as well.

Overall the LD/ST Modes available are astoundingly powerful, especially when combining arithmetic (lharx) with saturation, element-width overrides, Twin Predication, vec2/3/4 Structure Packing and REMAP, the combinations far exceed anything seen in any other Vector ISA in history, yet are really nothing more than concepts abstracted out in pure RISC form.12

CR Field RM Modes.

CR Field operations (crand etc.) are somewhat underappreciated in the Power ISA. The CR Fields however are perfect for providing up to four separate Vectors of Predicate Masks: EQ LT GT SO and thus some special attention was given to first making transfer between GPR and CR Fields much more powerful with the crweird operations, and secondly by adding powerful binary and ternary CR Field operations into the bitmanip extension.13

On these instructions RM Modes may still be applied (mapreduce and Data-Dependent Fail-first). The usefulness of being able to auto-truncate subsequent Vector Processing at the point at which a CR Field test fails, based on any arbitary logical operation involving three CR Field Vectors (crternlogi) should be clear, as should the benefits of being able to do mapreduce and REMAP Parallel Reduction on crternlogi: dramatic reduction in instruction count for Branch-based control flow when faced with complex analysis of multiple Vectors, including XOR-reduction (parity).

Overall the addition of the CR Operations and the CR RM Modes is about getting instruction count down and increasing the power and flexibility of CR Fields as pressed into service for the purpose of Predicate Masks.

SVP64Single 24-bits

The SVP64-Single 24-bit encoding focusses primarily on ensuring that all 128 Scalar registers are fully accessible, provides element-width overrides, one-bit predication and brings Saturation to all existing Scalar operations. BF16 and FP16 are thus provided in the Scalar Power ISA without one single explicit FP16 or BF16 32-bit opcode being added. The downside: such Scalar operations are all 64-bit encodings.

As SVP64Single is new and still under development, space for it may instead be RESERVED. It is however necessary in some form as there are limitations in SVP64 Register numbering, particularly for 4-operand instructions, that can only be easily overcome by SVP64Single.

Vertical-First Mode

This is a Computer Science term that needed first to be invented. There exists only one other Vertical-First Vector ISA in the world: Mitch Alsup's VVM Extension for the 66000, details of which may be obtained publicly on comp.arch or directly from Mitch Alsup under NDA. Several people have independently derived Vertical-First: it simply did not have a Computer Science term associated with it.

If we envisage register and Memory layout to be Horizontal and instructions to be Vertical, and to then have some form of Loop System (wherther Zero-Overhead or just branch-conditional based) it is easier to then conceptualise VF vs HF Mode:

  • Vertical-First progresses through instructions first before moving on to the next register (or Memory-address in the case of Mitch Alsup's VVM).
  • Horizontal-First (also known as Cray-style Vectors) progresses through registers (or, register elements in traditional Cray-Vector ISAs) in full before moving on to the next instruction.

Mitch Alsup's VVM Extension is a form of hardware-level auto-vectorization based around Zero-Overhead Loops. Using a Variable-Length Encoding all loop-invariant registers are "tagged" such that the Hazard Management Engine may perform optimally and do less work in automatically identifying parallelism opportunities. With it not being appropriate to use Variable-Length Encoding in the Power ISA a different much more explicit strategy was taken in Simple-V.

The biggest advantage inherent in Vertical-First is that it is very easy to introduce into compilers, because all looping, as far as programs is concerned, remains expressed as Scalar assembler.14 Whilst Mitch Alsup's VVM biggest strength is its hardware-level auto-vectorization but is limited in its ability to call functions, Simple-V's Vertical-First provides explicit control over the parallelism ("hphint")15 and also allows for full state to be stored/restored (SVLR combined with LR), permitting full function calls to be made from inside Vertical-First Loops, and potentially allows arbitrarily-depth nested VF Loops.

Simple-V Vertical-First Looping requires an explicit instruction to move SVSTATE regfile offsets forward: svstep. An early version of Vectorized Branch-Conditional attempted to merge the functionality of svstep into sv.bc: it became CISC-like in its complexity and was quickly reverted.

Simple-V REMAP subsystem

REMAP is extremely advanced but brings features already present in other DSPs and Supercomputing ISAs. The usual sequential progression through elements is pushed through a hardware-defined fully Deterministic "remapping". Normally (without REMAP) algorithms are costly or convoluted to implement. They are typically implemented as hard-coded fully loop-unrolled assembler which is often auto-generated by specialist tools, or written entirely by hand. All REMAP Schedules including Indexed are 100% Deterministic from their point of declaration, making it possible to forward-plan Issue, Memory access and Register Hazard Management in Multi-Issue Micro-architectures.

If combined with Vertical-First then much more complex operations may exploit REMAP Schedules, such as Complex Number FFTs, by using Scalar intermediary temporary registers to compute results that have a Vector source or destination or both. Contrast this with a Standard Horizontal-First Vector ISA where the only way to perform Vectorized Complex Arithmetic would be to add Complex Vector Arithmetic operations, because due to the Horizontal (element-level) progression there is no way to utilise intermediary temporary (scalar) variables.16

  • DCT/FFT REMAP brings more capability than TI's MSP-Series DSPs and Qualcom Hexagon DSPs, and is not restricted to Integer or FP. (Galois Field is possible, implementing NTT). Operates in-place significantly reducing register usage.
  • Matrix REMAP brings more capability than any other Matrix Extension (AMD GPUs, Intel, ARM), not being restricted to Power-2 sizes. Also not limited to the type of operation, it may perform Warshall Transitive Closure, Integer Matrix, Bitmanipulation Matrix, Galois Field (carryless mul) Matrix, and with care potentially Graph Maximum Flow as well. Also suited to Convolutions, Matrix Transpose and rotate, all of which is in-place.
  • General-purpose Indexed REMAP, this option is provided to implement an equivalent of VSX vperm, as a general-purpose catch-all means of covering algorithms outside of the other REMAP Engines.
  • Parallel Reduction REMAP, performs an automatic map-reduce using any suitable scalar operation.

All REMAP Schedules are Precise-Interruptible. No latency penalty is caused by the fact that the Schedule is Parallel-Reduction, for example. The operations are Issued (Deterministically) as Scalar operations and thus any latency associated with Scalar operation Issue exactly as in a Scalar Micro-architecture will result. Contrast this with a Standard Vector ISA where frequently there is either considerable interrupt latency due to requiring a Parallel Reduction to complete in full, or partial results to be discarded and re-started should a high-priority Interrupt occur in the middle.

Note that predication is possible on REMAP but is hard to use effectively. It is often best to make copies of data (VCOMPRESS) then apply REMAP.


Scalar Operations

The primary reason for mentioning the additional Scalar operations is because they are so numerous, with Power ISA not having advanced in the general purpose compute area in the past 12 years, that some considerable care is needed.

Summary: Including Simple-V, to fit everything at least 75% of 3 separate Major Opcodes would be required

Candidates (for all but the X-Form instructions) include:

  • EXT006 (80% free)
  • EXT017 (75% free but not recommended)
  • EXT001 (50% free)
  • EXT009 (100% free)
  • EXT005 (100% free)
  • brownfield space in EXT019 (25% but NOT recommended)

SVP64, SVP64-Single and SVP64-Reserved would require on their own each 25% of one Major Opcode for a total of 75% of one Major Opcode. The remaining Scalar opcodes, due to there being two separate sets of operations with 16-bit immediates, will require the other space totalling two 75% Majors.

Note critically that:

  • Unlike EXT001, SVP64's 24-bits may not hold also any Scalar operations. There is no free available space: a 25th bit would be required. The entire 24-bits is required for the abstracted Hardware-Looping Concept even when these 24-bits are zero
  • Any Scalar 64-bit instruction (regardless of how it is encoded) is unsafe to then Vectorize because this creates the situation of Prefixed-Prefixed, resulting in deep complexity in Hardware Decode at a critical juncture, as well as introducing 96-bit instructions.
  • All of these Scalar instructions are candidates for Vectorization. Thus none of them may be 64-bit-Scalar-only.

Minor Opcodes to fit candidates above

In order of size, for bitmanip and A/V DSP purposes:

  • QTY 3of 2-bit XO: ternlogi, crternlogi, grevlogi
  • QTY 7of 3-bit XO: xpermi, binlut, grevlog, swizzle-mv/fmv, bitmask, bmrevi
  • QTY 8of 5/6-bit (A-Form): xpermi, bincrflut, bmask, fmvis, fishmv, bmrev, Galois Field
  • QTY 30of 10-bit (X-Form): cldiv/mul, av-min/max/diff, absdac, xperm etc. (easily fit EXT019, EXT031).

Note: Some of the Galois Field operations will require QTY 1of Polynomial SPR (per userspace supervisor hypervisor).


For biginteger math, two instructions in the same space as "madd" are to be proposed. They are both 3-in 2-out operations taking or producing a 64-bit "pair" (like RTp), and perform 128/64 mul and div/mod operations respectively. These are not the same as VSX operations which are 128/128, and they are not the same as existing Scalar mul/div/mod, all of which are 64/64 (or 64/32).

EXT059 and EXT063

Additionally for High-Performance Compute and Competitive 3D GPU, IEEE754 FP Transcendentals are required, as are some DCT/FFT "Twin-Butterfly" operations. For each of EXT059 and EXT063:

  • QTY 33of X-Form "1-argument" (fsin, fsins, fcos, fcoss)
  • QTY 15of X-Form "2-argument" (pow, atan2, fhypot)
  • QTY 5of A-Form "3-in 2-out" FP Butterfly operations for DCT/FFT
  • QTY 8of X-Form "2-in 2-out" FP Butterfly operations (again for DCT/FFT)
  • An additional 16 instructions for IEEE754-2019 (fminss/fmaxss, fminmag/fmaxmag) under evaluation as of 08Sep2022

Adding new opcodes.

With Simple-V being a type of Zero-Overhead Loop Engine on top of Scalar operations some clear guidelines are needed on how both existing "Defined Word-instructions" (Public v3.1 Section 1.6.3 term) and future Scalar operations are added within the 64-bit space. Examples of legal and illegal allocations are given later.

The primary point is that once an instruction is defined in Scalar 32-bit form its corresponding space must be reserved in the SVP64 area with the exact same 32-bit form, even if that instruction is "Unvectorizeable" (sc, sync, rfid and mtspr for example). Instructions may not be added in the Vector space without also being added in the Scalar space, and vice-versa, even if Unvectorizeable.

This is extremely important because the worst possible situation is if a conflicting Scalar instruction is added by another Stakeholder, which then turns out to be Vectorizeable: it would then have to be added to the Vector Space with a completely different Defined Word-instruction and things go rapidly downhill in the Decode Phase from there. Setting a simple inviolate rule helps avoid this scenario but does need to be borne in mind when discussing potential allocation schemes, as well as when new Vectorizeable Opcodes are proposed for addition by future RFCs: the opcodes must be uniformly added to Scalar and Vector spaces, or added in one and reserved in the other, or not added at all in either.17


Potential Opcode allocation solution (superseded)

Note this scheme is superseded below but kept for completeness as it defines terms and context. There are unfortunately some inviolate requirements that directly place pressure on the EXT000-EXT063 (32-bit) opcode space to such a degree that it risks jeapordising the Power ISA. These requirements are:

  • all of the scalar operations must be Vectorizeable
  • all of the scalar operations intended for Vectorization must be in a 32-bit encoding (not prefixed-prefixed to 96-bit)
  • bringing Scalar Power ISA up-to-date from the past 12 years needs 75% of two Major opcodes all on its own

There exists a potential scheme which meets (exceeds) the above criteria, providing plenty of room for both Scalar (and Vectorized) operations, and provides SVP64-Single with room to grow. It is based loosely around Public v3.1 EXT001 Encoding.18

0-5 6 7 8-31 Description
PO 0 0 0000 new-suffix RESERVED1
PO 0 0 !zero new-suffix, scalar (SVP64Single), or RESERVED3
PO 1 0 0000 new scalar-only word, or RESERVED2
PO 1 0 !zero old-suffix, scalar (SVP64Single), or RESERVED4
PO 0 1 nnnn new-suffix, vector (SVP64)
PO 1 1 nnnn old-suffix, vector (SVP64)
  • PO - Primary Opcode. Likely candidates: EXT005, EXT009
  • bit 6 - specifies whether the suffix is old (EXT000-EXT063) or new (EXTn00-EXTn63, n greater than 1)
  • bit 7 - defines whether the Suffix is Scalar-Prefixed or Vector-Prefixed (caveat: see bits 8-31)
  • old-suffix - the EXT000 to EXT063 32-bit Major opcodes of Power ISA 3.0
  • new scalar-only - a new Major Opcode area exclusively for Scalar-only instructions that shall never be Prefixed by SVP64 (RESERVED2 EXT300-EXT363)
  • new-suffix - a new Major Opcode area (RESERVED1 EXT200-EXT263) that may be Prefixed by SVP64 and SVP64Single
  • 0000 - all 24 bits bits 8-31 are zero (0x000000)
  • !zero - bits 8-31 may be any value other than zero (0x000001-0xffffff)
  • nnnn - bits 8-31 may be any value in the range 0x000000 to 0xffffff
  • SVP64Single - a (TBD) Scalar Encoding that is near-identical to SVP64 except that it is equivalent to hard-coded VL=1 at all times. Predication is permitted, Element-width-overrides is permitted, Saturation is permitted. If not allocated within the scope of this RFC then these are requested to be RESERVED for a future Simple-V proposal.
  • SVP64 - a (well-defined, 2 years) DRAFT Proposal for a Vectorization Augmentation of suffixes.

For the needs identified by Libre-SOC (75% of 2 POs), RESERVED1 space needs allocation to new POs, RESERVED2 does not.19

Scalar (bit7=0,8-31=0000) Scalar (bit7=0,8-31=!zero) Vector (bit7=1)
new bit6=0 RESERVED1:{EXT200-263} RESERVED3:SVP64-Single:{EXT200-263} SVP64:{EXT200-263}
old bit6=1 RESERVED2:{EXT300-363} RESERVED4:SVP64-Single:{EXT000-063} SVP64:{EXT000-063}
  • RESERVED2:{EXT300-363} (not strictly necessary to be added) is not and cannot ever be Vectorized or Augmented by Simple-V or any future Simple-V Scheme. it is a pure Scalar-only word-length PO Group. It may remain RESERVED.
  • RESERVED1:{EXT200-263} is also a new set of 64 word-length Major Opcodes. These opcodes would be Simple-V-Augmentable unlike EXT300-363 which may never be Simple-V-Augmented under any circumstances.
  • RESERVED3:SVP64-Single:{EXT200-263} - Major opcodes 200-263 with Single-Augmentation, providing a one-bit predicate mask, element-width overrides on source and destination, and the option to extend the Scalar Register numbering (r0-32 extends to r0-127). Placing of alternative instruction encodings other than those exactly defined in EXT200-263 is prohibited.
  • RESERVED4:SVP64-Single:{EXT000-063} - Major opcodes 000-063 with Single-Augmentation, just like SVP64-Single on EXT200-263, these are in effect Single-Augmented-Prefixed variants of the v3.0 32-bit Power ISA. Alternative instruction encodings other than the exact same 32-bit word from EXT000-EXT063 are likewise prohibited.
  • SVP64:{EXT000-063} and SVP64:{EXT200-263} - Full Vectorization of EXT000-063 and EXT200-263 respectively, these Prefixed instructions are likewise prohibited from being a different encoding from their 32-bit scalar versions.

Limitations of this scheme is that new 32-bit Scalar operations have to have a 32-bit "prefix pattern" in front of them. If commonly-used this could increase binary size. Thus the Encodings EXT300-363 and EXT200-263 should only be allocated for less-popular operations. However the scheme does have the strong advantage of tripling the available number of Major Opcodes in the Power ISA, caveat being that care on allocation is needed because EXT200-EXT263 may be SVP64-Augmented whilst EXT300-EXT363 may not. The issues of allocation for bitmanip etc. from Libre-SOC is therefore overwhelmingly made moot. The only downside is that there is no SVP64-Reserved which will have to be achieved with SPRs (PCR or MSR).

Most importantly what this scheme does not do is provide large areas for other (non-Vectorizeable) RFCs.

Potential Opcode allocation solution (2)

One of the risks of the bit 6/7 scheme above is that there is no room to share PO9 (EXT009) with other potential uses. A workaround for that is as follows:

  • EXT009, like EXT001 of Public v3.1, is defined as a 64-bit encoding. This makes Multi-Issue Length-identification trivial.
  • bit 6 if 0b1 is 100% for Simple-V augmentation of (Public v3.1 1.6.3) "Defined Word-instructions" (aka EXT000-063), with the exception of 0x26000000 as a Prefix, which is a new RESERVED encoding.
  • when bit 6 is 0b0 and bits 32-33 are 0b11 are defined as also allocated to Simple-V
  • all other patterns are RESERVED for other non-Vectorizeable purposes (just over 37.5%).
0-5 6 7 8-31 32:33 Description
PO9? 0 0 !zero 00-10 RESERVED (other)
PO9? 0 1 xxxx 00-10 RESERVED (other)
PO9? x 0 0000 xx RESERVED (other)
PO9? 0 0 !zero 11 SVP64 (current and future)
PO9? 0 1 xxxx 11 SVP64 (current and future)
PO9? 1 0 !zero xx SVP64 (current and future)
PO9? 1 1 xxxx xx SVP64 (current and future)

This ensures that any potential for future conflict over uses of the EXT009 space, jeapordising Simple-V in the process, are avoided, yet leaves huge areas (just over 37.5% of the 64-bit space) for other (non-Vectorizeable) uses.

These areas thus need to be Allocated (SVP64 and Scalar EXT248-263):

0-5 6 7 8-31 32-3 Description
PO 0 0 !zero 0b11 SVP64Single:EXT248-263, or RESERVED3
PO 0 0 0000 0b11 Scalar EXT248-263
PO 0 1 nnnn 0b11 SVP64:EXT248-263
PO 1 0 !zero nn SVP64Single:EXT000-063 or RESERVED4
PO 1 1 nnnn nn SVP64:EXT000-063

and reserved areas, QTY 1of 32-bit, and QTY 3of 55-bit, are:

0-5 6 7 8-31 32-3 Description
PO9? 1 0 0000 xx RESERVED1 or EXT300-363 (32-bit)
PO9? 0 x xxxx 0b00 RESERVED2 or EXT200-216 (55-bit)
PO9? 0 x xxxx 0b01 RESERVED2 or EXT216-231 (55-bit)
PO9? 0 x xxxx 0b10 RESERVED2 or EXT232-247 (55-bit)
  • SVP64Single (RESERVED3/4) is planned for a future RFC (but needs reserving as part of this RFC)
  • RESERVED1/2 is available for new general-purpose (non-Vectorizeable) 32-bit encodings (other RFCs)
  • EXT248-263 is for "new" instructions which must be granted corresponding space in SVP64.
  • Anything Vectorized-EXT000-063 is automatically being requested as 100% Reserved for every single "Defined Word-instruction" (Public v3.1 1.6.3 definition). Vectorized-EXT001 or EXT009 is defined as illegal.
  • Any future instruction added to EXT000-063 likewise, must automatically be assigned corresponding reservations in the SVP64:EXT000-063 and SVP64Single:EXT000-063 area, regardless of whether the instruction is Vectorizeable or not.

Bit-allocation Summary:

  • EXT3nn and other areas provide space for up to QTY 4of non-Vectorizeable EXTn00-EXTn47 ranges.
  • QTY 3of 55-bit spaces also exist for future use (longer by 3 bits than opcodes allocated in EXT001)
  • Simple-V EXT2nn is restricted to range EXT248-263
  • non-Simple-V (non-Vectorizeable) EXT2nn (if ever requested in any future RFC) is restricted to range EXT200-247
  • Simple-V EXT0nn takes up 50% of PO9 for this and future Simple-V RFCs

This however potentially puts SVP64 under pressure (in 5-10 years). Ideas being discussed already include adding LD/ST-with-Shift and variant Shift-Immediate operations that require large quantity of Primary Opcodes. To ensure that there is room in future, it may be better to allocate 25% to RESERVED:

0-5 6 7 8-31 32 Description
PO9? 1 0 0000 x EXT300-363 or RESERVED1 (32-bit)
PO9? 0 x xxxx 0 EXT200-232 or RESERVED2 (56-bit)
PO9? 0 x xxxx 1 EXT232-263 and SVP64(/V/S)

The clear separation between Simple-V and non-Simple-V stops conflict in future RFCs, both of which get plenty of space. EXT000-063 pressure is reduced in both Vectorizeable and non-Vectorizeable, and the 100+ Vectorizeable Scalar operations identified by Libre-SOC may safely be proposed and each evaluated on their merits.



These are Scalar word-encodings. Often termed "v3.0 Scalar" in this document Power ISA v3.1 Section 1.6.3 Book I calls it a "Defined Word-instruction".

0-5 6-31
PO EXT000-063 "Defined Word-instruction"

SVP64Single:{EXT000-063} bit6=old bit7=scalar

This encoding, identical to SVP64Single:{EXT248-263}, introduces SVP64Single Augmentation of Scalar "Defined Word-instructions". All meanings must be identical to EXT000-063, and is is likewise prohibited to add an instruction in this area without also adding the exact same (non-Augmented) instruction in EXT000-063 with the exact same Scalar word. Bits 32-37 0b00000 to 0b11111 represent EXT000-063 respectively. Augmenting EXT001 or EXT009 is prohibited.

0-5 6 7 8-31 32-63
PO (9)? 1 0 !zero SVP64Single:{EXT000-063}

SVP64:{EXT000-063} bit6=old bit7=vector

This encoding is identical to SVP64:{EXT248-263} except it is the Vectorization of existing v3.0/3.1 Scalar-words, EXT000-063. All the same rules apply with the addition that Vectorization of EXT001 or EXT009 is prohibited.

0-5 6 7 8-31 32-63
PO (9)? 1 1 nnnn SVP64:{EXT000-063}

{EXT232-263} bit6=new bit7=scalar

This encoding represents the opportunity to introduce EXT248-263. It is a Scalar-word encoding, and does not require implementing SVP64 or SVP64-Single, but does require the Vector-space to be allocated. PO2 is in the range 0b100000 to 0b1111111 to represent EXT232-263 respectively.

0-5 6 7 8-31 32 33-37 38-63
PO (9)? 0 0 0000 1 PO2[1:5] {EXT232-263}

SVP64Single:{EXT232-263} bit6=new bit7=scalar

This encoding, which is effectively "implicit VL=1" and comprising (from bits 8-31 being non-zero) at least some form of Augmentation, it represents the opportunity to Augment EXT232-263 with the SVP64Single capabilities. Must be allocated under Scalar and SVP64 simultaneously.

0-5 6 7 8-31 32 33-37 38-63
PO (9)? 0 0 !zero 1 PO2[1:5] SVP64Single:{EXT232-263}

SVP64:{EXT248-263} bit6=new bit7=vector

This encoding, which permits VL to be dynamic (settable from GPR or CTR) is the Vectorization of EXT248-263. Instructions may not be placed in this category without also being implemented as pure Scalar and SVP64Single. Unlike SVP64Single however, there is no reserved encoding (bits 8-24 zero). VL=1 may occur dynamically at runtime, even when bits 8-31 are zero.

0-5 6 7 8-31 32 33-37 38-63
PO (9)? 0 1 nnnn 1 PO2[1:5] SVP64:{EXT232-263}

RESERVED1 / EXT300-363 bit6=old bit7=scalar

This is at the discretion of the ISA WG. Libre-SOC is not proposing the addition of EXT300-363: it is merely a possibility

0-5 6 7 8-31 32-63
PO (9)? 1 0 0000 EXT300-363 or RESERVED1

RESERVED2 / EXT200-231 bit6=new bit32=1

This is at the discretion of the ISA WG. Libre-SOC is not proposing the addition of EXT200-231: it is merely a possibility

0-5 6 7 8-31 32 33-37 38-63
PO (9)? 0 x nnnn 1 PO2[1:5] {EXT200-231}


Example Legal Encodings and RESERVED spaces

This section illustrates what is legal encoding, what is not, and why the 4 spaces should be RESERVED even if not allocated as part of this RFC.

legal, scalar and vector

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit fishmv none 0x12345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.fishmv 0x26!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT0nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x27nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT0nn


width assembler prefix? suffix description
64bit fishmv 0x24000000 0x12345678 scalar EXT2nn
64bit ss.fishmv 0x24!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT2nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x25nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT2nn

Here the encodings are the same, 0x12345678 means the same thing in all cases. Anything other than this risks either damage (truncation of capabilities of Simple-V) or far greater complexity in the Decode Phase.

This drives the compromise proposal (above) to reserve certain EXT2nn POs right across the board (in the Scalar Suffix side, irrespective of Prefix), some allocated to Simple-V, some not.

illegal due to missing

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit fishmv none 0x12345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.fishmv 0x26!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT0nn
64bit unallocated 0x27nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT0nn

This is illegal because the instruction is possible to Vectorize, therefore it should be defined as Vectorizeable.

illegal due to unvectorizeable

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit mtmsr none 0x12345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.mtmsr 0x26!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT0nn
64bit sv.mtmsr 0x27nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT0nn

This is illegal because the instruction mtmsr is not possible to Vectorize, at all. This does not convey an opportunity to allocate the space to an alternative instruction.

illegal unvectorizeable in EXT2nn

width assembler prefix? suffix description
64bit mtmsr2 0x24000000 0x12345678 scalar EXT2nn
64bit ss.mtmsr2 0x24!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT2nn
64bit sv.mtmsr2 0x25nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT2nn

For a given hypothetical mtmsr2 which is inherently Unvectorizeable whilst it may be put into the scalar EXT2nn space it may not be allocated in the Vector space. As with Unvectorizeable EXT0nn opcodes this does not convey the right to use the 0x24/0x26 space for alternative opcodes. This hypothetical Unvectorizeable operation would be better off being allocated as EXT001 Prefixed, EXT000-063, or hypothetically in EXT300-363.

ILLEGAL: dual allocation

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit fredmv none 0x12345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.fredmv 0x26!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT0nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x27nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT0nn

the use of 0x12345678 for fredmv in scalar but fishmv in Vector is illegal. the suffix in both 64-bit locations must be allocated to a Vectorizeable EXT000-063 "Defined Word-instruction" (Public v3.1 Section 1.6.3 definition) or not at all.


illegal unallocated scalar EXT0nn or EXT2nn:

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit unallocated none 0x12345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.fredmv 0x26!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT0nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x27nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT0nn


width assembler prefix? suffix description
64bit unallocated 0x24000000 0x12345678 scalar EXT2nn
64bit ss.fishmv 0x24!zero 0x12345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT2nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x25nnnnnn 0x12345678 vector SVP64:EXT2nn

Both of these Simple-V operations are illegally-allocated. The fact that there does not exist a scalar "Defined Word-instruction" (even for EXT200-263) - the unallocated block - means that the instruction may not be allocated in the Simple-V space.

illegal attempt to put Scalar EXT004 into Vector EXT2nn

width assembler prefix? suffix description
32bit unallocated none 0x10345678 scalar EXT0nn
64bit ss.fishmv 0x24!zero 0x10345678 scalar SVP64Single:EXT2nn
64bit sv.fishmv 0x25nnnnnn 0x10345678 vector SVP64:EXT2nn

This is an illegal attempt to place an EXT004 "Defined Word-instruction" (Public v3.1 Section 1.6.3) into the EXT2nn Vector space. This is not just illegal it is not even possible to achieve. If attempted, by dropping EXT004 into bits 32-37, the top two MSBs are actually zero, and the Vector EXT2nn space is only legal for Primary Opcodes in the range 232-263, where the top two MSBs are 0b11. Thus this faulty attempt actually falls unintentionally into RESERVED "Non-Vectorizeable" Encoding space.

illegal attempt to put Scalar EXT001 into Vector space

width assembler prefix? suffix description
64bit EXT001 0x04nnnnnn any scalar EXT001
96bit sv.EXT001 0x24!zero EXT001 scalar SVP64Single:EXT001
96bit sv.EXT001 0x25nnnnnn EXT001 vector SVP64:EXT001

This becomes in effect an effort to define 96-bit instructions, which are illegal due to cost at the Decode Phase (Variable-Length Encoding). Likewise attempting to embed EXT009 (chained) is also illegal. The implications are clear unfortunately that all 64-bit EXT001 Scalar instructions are Unvectorizeable.


Use cases

In the following examples the programs are fully executable under the Libre-SOC Simple-V-augmented Power ISA Simulator. Reproducible (scripted) Installation instructions: https://libre-soc.org/HDL_workflow/devscripts/


Context-switching saving and restoring of registers on the stack often requires explicit loop-unrolling to achieve effectively. In SVP64 it is possible to use a Predicate Mask to "compact" or "expand" a swathe of desired registers, dynamically. Known as "VCOMPRESS" and "VEXPAND", runtime-configurable LD/ST-Multi is achievable with 2 instructions.

    # load 64 registers off the stack, in-order, skipping unneeded ones
    # by using CR0-CR63's "EQ" bits to select only those needed.
    setvli 64
    sv.ld/sm=EQ *rt,0(ra)

Twin-Predication, re-entrant

This example demonstrates two key concepts: firstly Twin-Predication (separate source predicate mask from destination predicate mask) and that sufficient state is stored within the Vector Context SPR, SVSTATE, for full re-entrancy on a Context Switch or function call even if in the middle of executing a loop. Also demonstrates that it is permissible for a programmer to write directly to the SVSTATE SPR, and still expect Deterministic Behaviour. It's not exactly recommended (performance may be impacted by direct SVSTATE access), but it is not prohibited either.

 292     # checks that we are able to resume in the middle of a VL loop,
 293     # after an interrupt, or after the user has updated src/dst step
 294     # let's assume the user has prepared src/dst step before running this
 295     # vector instruction
 296     # test_intpred_reentrant
 297         #   reg num        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
 298         #   srcstep=1                           v
 299         #   src r3=0b0101                    Y  N  Y  N
 300         #                                    :     |
 301         #                              + - - +     |
 302         #                              :   +-------+
 303         #                              :   |
 304         #   dest ~r3=0b1010          N Y N Y
 305         #   dststep=2                    ^
 307         sv.extsb/sm=r3/dm=~r3 *5, *9


Matrix Multiply

Matrix Multiply of any size (non-power-2) up to a total of 127 operations is achievable with only three instructions. Normally in any other SIMD ISA at least one source requires Transposition and often massive rolling repetition of data is required. These 3 instructions may be used as the "inner triple-loop kernel" of the usual 6-loop Massive Matrix Multiply.

  28     # test_sv_remap1   5x4 by 4x3 matrix multiply
  29                        svshape 5, 4, 3, 0, 0
  30                        svremap 31, 1, 2, 3, 0, 0, 0
  31                        sv.fmadds *0, *8, *16, *0


Parallel Reduction

Parallel (Horizontal) Reduction is often deeply problematic in SIMD and Vector ISAs. Parallel Reduction is Fully Deterministic in Simple-V and thus may even usefully be deployed on non-associative and non-commutative operations.

  75     # test_sv_remap2
  76                        svshape 7, 0, 0, 7, 0
  77                        svremap 31, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 # different order
  78                        sv.subf *0, *8, *16




DCT has dozens of uses in Audio-Visual processing and CODECs. A full 8-wide in-place triple-loop Inverse DCT may be achieved in 8 instructions. Expanding this to 16-wide is a matter of setting svshape 16 and the same instructions used. Lee Composition may be deployed to construct non-power-two DCTs. The cosine table may be computed (once) with 18 Vector instructions (one of them fcos)

1014     # test_sv_remap_fpmadds_ldbrev_idct_8_mode_4
1015                       # LOAD bit-reversed with half-swap
1016                       svshape 8, 1, 1, 14, 0
1017                       svremap 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
1018                       sv.lfs/els *0, 4(1)
1019                       # Outer butterfly, iterative sum
1020                       svremap 31, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1
1021                       svshape 8, 1, 1, 11, 0
1022                       sv.fadds *0, *0, *0
1023                       # Inner butterfly, twin +/- MUL-ADD-SUB
1024                       svshape 8, 1, 1, 10, 0
1025                       sv.ffmadds *0, *0, *0, *8


3D GPU style "Branch Conditional"

(Note: Specification is ready, Simulator still under development of full specification capabilities) This example demonstrates a 2-long Vector Branch-Conditional only succeeding if all elements in the Vector are successful. This avoids the need for additional instructions that would need to perform a Parallel Reduction of a Vector of Condition Register tests down to a single value, on which a Scalar Branch-Conditional could then be performed. Full Rationale at https://libre-soc.org/openpower/sv/branches/

  80   # test_sv_branch_cond_all
  81       for i in [7, 8, 9]:
  83               addi 1, 0, i+1        # set r1 to i
  84               addi 2, 0, i          # set r2 to i
  85               cmpi cr0, 1, 1, 8     # compare r1 with 8 and store to cr0
  86               cmpi cr1, 1, 2, 8     # compare r2 with 8 and store to cr1
  87               sv.bc/all 12, *1, 0xc # bgt 0xc - branch if BOTH
  88                                     # r1 AND r2 greater 8 to the nop below
  89               addi 3, 0, 0x1234,    # if tests fail this shouldn't execute
  90               or 0, 0, 0            # branch target


Big-Integer Math

Remarkably, sv.adde is inherently a big-integer Vector Add, using CA chaining between Scalar operations. Using Vector LD/ST and recalling that the first and last CA may be chained in and out of an entire Vector, unlimited-length arithmetic is possible.

  26     # test_sv_bigint_add
  33         r3/r2: 0x0000_0000_0000_0001 0xffff_ffff_ffff_ffff +
  34         r5/r4: 0x8000_0000_0000_0000 0x0000_0000_0000_0001 =
  35         r1/r0: 0x8000_0000_0000_0002 0x0000_0000_0000_0000
  37                          sv.adde *0, *2, *4

A 128/64-bit shift may be used as a Vector shift by a Scalar amount, by merging two 64-bit consecutive registers in succession.

  62     # test_sv_bigint_scalar_shiftright(self):
  65     r3                    r2                    r1                       r4
  66     0x0000_0000_0000_0002 0x8000_8000_8000_8001 0xffff_ffff_ffff_ffff >> 4
  67     0x0000_0000_0000_0002 0x2800_0800_0800_0800 0x1fff_ffff_ffff_ffff
  69                          sv.dsrd *0,*1,4,1

Additional 128/64 Mul and Div/Mod instructions may similarly be exploited to perform roll-over in arbitrary-length arithmetic: effectively they use one of the two 64-bit output registers as a form of "64-bit Carry In-Out".

All of these big-integer instructions are Scalar instructions standing on their own merit and may be utilised even in a Scalar environment to improve performance. When used with Simple-V they may also be used to improve performance and also greatly simplify unlimited-length biginteger algorithms.



Vectorized strncpy

Aside from the blr return instruction this is an entire fully-functional implementation of strncpy which demonstrates some of the remarkably powerful capabilities of Simple-V. Load Fault-First avoids instruction traps and page faults in the middle of the Vectorized Load, providing the micro-architecture with the opportunity to notify the program of the successful Vector Length. sv.cmpi is the next strategically-critical instruction, as it searches for a zero and yet includes it in a new Vector Length - bearing in mind that the previous instruction (the Load) also truncated down to the valid number of LDs performed. Finally, a Vectorized Branch-Conditional automatically decrements CTR by the number of elements copied (VL), rather than decrementing simply by one.

  41  "mtspr 9, 3",                   # move r3 to CTR
  42  "addi 0,0,0",                   # initialise r0 to zero
  43  # chr-copy loop starts here:
  44  #   for (i = 0; i < n && src[i] != '\0'; i++)
  45  #        dest[i] = src[i];
  46  # VL (and r1) = MIN(CTR,MAXVL=4)
  47  "setvl 1,0,%d,0,1,1" % maxvl,
  48  # load VL bytes (update r10 addr)
  49  "sv.lbzu/pi *16, 1(10)",
  50  "sv.cmpi/ff=eq/vli *0,1,*16,0",  # compare against zero, truncate VL
  51  # store VL bytes (update r12 addr)
  52  "sv.stbu/pi *16, 1(12)",
  53  "sv.bc/all 0, *2, -0x1c",       # test CTR, stop if cmpi failed
  54  # zeroing loop starts here:
  55  #   for ( ; i < n; i++)
  56  #       dest[i] = '\0';
  57  # VL (and r1) = MIN(CTR,MAXVL=4)
  58  "setvl 1,0,%d,0,1,1" % maxvl,
  59  # store VL zeros (update r12 addr)
  60  "sv.stbu/pi 0, 1(12)",
  61  "sv.bc 16, *0, -0xc",           # decrement CTR by VL, stop at zero



Add the following Definitions to Section 1.3.1 of Book I

Definition of Simple-V:

In its simplest form, the Simple-V Loop/Vector concept is a Prefixing system (similar to the 8086 REP instruction and the Z80 LDIR) that both augments its following Defined Word-instruction (Suffix), and also may repeat that instruction with optional sequential register offsets from those given in the Suffix. Register numbers may also be extended (larger register files). More advanced features add predication, element-width overrides, and Vertical-First Mode.

Definition of SVP64 Prefixing:

SVP64 is a well-defined implementation of the Simple-V Loop/Vector concept, in a 32-bit Prefix format, that exploits the following instruction (the Defined Word-instruction) using it as a "template". It requires 24 bits, some of which are common to all Suffixes, and some Mode bits are specific to the Defined Word-instruction class: Load/Store-Immediate, Load/Store-Indexed, Arithmetic/Logical, Condition Register operations, and Branch-Conditional. Anything not falling into those five categories is termed "Unvectorizable".

Definition of Horizontal-First:

Normal Cray-style Vectorization, designated Horizontal-First, performs element-level operations (often in parallel) before moving in the usual fashion to the next instruction. The term "Horizontal-First" stems from naturally visually listing program instructions vertically, and register file contents horizontally, whereupon it is clear that register-elements are prioritised.

Definition of Vertical-First:

Vertical-First executes one element operation only then moves on to the next instruction, whereupon if that is also an SVP64-Prefixed instruction the exact same element offset is used. Element offsets are then explicitly advanced by calling a special instruction, svstep. The term "Vertical-First" stems from naturally visually listing program instructions vertically and register file contents horizontally, where moving to the next instruction is a clear priority.

Definition of SVP64Single Prefixing:

A 32-bit Prefix in front of a Defined Word-instruction that extends register numbers (allows larger register files), adds single-bit predication, element-width overrides, and optionally adds Saturation to Arithmetic instructions that normally would not have it. SVP64Single is in Draft only and is yet to be defined.

Definition of "Unvectorizable":

Any operation that inherently makes no sense if repeated (through SVP64 Prefixing) is termed "Unvectorizable". Examples include sc or sync which have no registers. mtmsr is also classed as Unvectorizable because there is only one MSR. Also instructions that simply may not be Prefixed (EXT300-EXT363) are also deemed "Unvectorizable".

Unvectorizable instructions are required to be detected as such if Prefixed (either SVP64 or SVP64Single) and an Illegal Instruction Trap raised.

Hardware Architectural Note: Given that a "pre-classification" Decode Phase is required (identifying whether the Suffix - Defined Word-instruction - is Arithmetic/Logical, CR-op, Load/Store or Branch-Conditional), adding "Unvectorizable" detection to this phase is not unreasonable.

New Prefixed Instruction Encoding space

Proposal: Add new Section 1.6.5 to Book I

The following eight new RESERVED areas are defined within Primary Opcode 9 (EXT009)

0-5 6-29 30 31 32-37 38-63 Description
PO9 xxxx x x 010001 xxxx RESERVED(1)
PO9 xxxx x x 000001 xxxx RESERVED(2)
PO9 !ZERO 1 1 !PO9 nnnn SVP64Single:EXT200-263
PO9 0000 1 1 !PO9 nnnn Scalar EXT200-263
PO9 SVRM 1 0 !PO9 nnnn SVP64:EXT200-263
PO9 0000 0 1 DWd nnnn 32-bit EXT300-363
PO9 !ZERO 0 1 DWd nnnn SVP64Single:EXT000-063
PO9 SVRM 0 0 DWd nnnn SVP64:EXT000-063


  • x - a RESERVED encoding. Illegal Instruction Trap must be raised
  • n - a future specification-defined value (currently RESERVED)
  • !PO9 - any 6-bit binary value except Primary Opcode 9 (0b010001)
  • !ZERO - a non-zero future specification-defined value (currently RESERVED)
  • DWd - a "Defined Word-instruction" - Book I Section 1.6 (Public v3.1 p11)
  • SVRM - a RESERVED encoding
  • SVP64Single: a future RESERVED Prefix encoding
  • SVP64: a future RESERVED Loop-Prefix encoding
  • EXT200-263: a RESERVED encoding for future Scalar instructions (Vectorizable)
  • EXT300-363: a RESERVED encoding for future Scalar instructions (Unvectorizable)

Architectural Resource Allocation Note: Similar to ARM's MOVPRFX instruction and the original x86 REP instruction, despite "influence" over the Suffix, the Suffix is entirely independent of the Prefix. Therefore under no circumstances must different Defined Word-instructions (different from the same Un-Prefixed Defined Word-instruction) be allocated within any EXT{zNN} prefixed or unprefixed space for a given value of z of 0, 2 or 3: the results would be catastrophic. Even if Unvectorizable an instruction Defined Word-instruction space must have the exact same Instruction and exact same Instruction Encoding in all spaces being RESERVED (Illegal Instruction Trap if Unvectorizable) or not be allocated at all. This is required as an inviolate hard rule governing Primary Opcode 9 that may not be revoked under any circumstances. A useful way to think of this is that the Prefix Encoding is, like the 8086 REP instruction, an independent 32-bit Defined Word-instruction.

Note a particular consequence of the application of the above paragraph: due to the fact that the Prefix Encodings are independent, by definition two new Sandbox areas "come into being" in an inviolate manner (i.e. they may not be called anything else, nor may they be revoked rescinded removed or recalled), named SVP64:EXT022 and SVP64Single:EXT022. The only way that these two new areas may be revoked is if EXT022 itself is revoked. All and any re-definitions modifications enhancements clarifications that apply to EXT022 also apply to these two new areas because due to the Prefixes being independent Defined Word-instructions the three areas are actually one and the same area, just as all Scalar Defined Word-instructions are.


  • PO9-PO1 Prefixed-Prefixed (96-bit) instructions are prohibited. EXT1xx is thus inherently Unvectorizable as the complexity at the Decoder of recognising {PO1-word}{PO9-word}{Defined-word-instruction} becomes too great for High Performance Multi-Issue systems.
  • There is however no reason why PO9-PO1 (EXT901?) as an entirely new RESERVED 64-bit Encoding should not be permitted as long as it is clearly marked as Unvectorizable.
  • PO1-PO9 Prefixed-Prefixed (96-bit) instructions are also prohibited for the same reason: Multi-Issue Decode complexity is too great.
  • There is however no reason why PO1-PO9 (EXT109) as an entirely new RESERVED 64-bit Encoding should not be permitted as long as it is clearly marked as Unvectorizable.
  • EXT100-163 instructions (PO1-Prefixed) are also prohibited from being double-PO1-prefixed (not twice prefixed)
  • Considerable care is needed both on Architectural Resource Allocation as well as instruction design itself. All new Scalar instructions automatically and inherently must be designed taking their Vectorizeable potential into consideration including VSX in future.
  • Once an instruction is allocated in an Unvectorizable area it can never be Vectorized without providing an entirely new Encoding.


  1. first introduced in DSPs, Zero-Overhead Loops are astoundingly effective in reducing total number of instructions executed or needed. ZOLC reduces instructions by 25 to 80 percent.
  2. imagine a hypothetical future VSX-256 using the exact same instructions as VSX. the binary incompatibility introducrd would catastrophically and retroactively damage existing IBM POWER8,9,10 hardware's reputation and that of Power ISA overall.
  3. an MSR bit or bits, conceptually equivalent to MSR.SF and added for the same reasons, would suffice perfectly.
  4. Prefix opcode space (or MSR bits) must be reserved in advance to do so, in order to avoid the catastrophic binary-incompatibility mistake made by RISC-V RVV and ARM SVE/2
  5. A future version or other Stakeholder may wish to drop Simple-V onto VSX: this would be a separate RFC
  6. SVP64-Single is remarkably similar to the "bit 1" of EXT001 being set to indicate that the 64-bits is to be allocated in full to a new encoding, but in fact SVP64-single still embeds v3.0 Scalar operations.
  7. although SVSHAPE0-3 should, realistically, be regarded as high a priority as SVSTATE, and given corresponding SVSRR and SVLR equivalents, it was felt that having to context-switch five SPRs on Interrupts and function calls was too much.
  8. elwidth overrides does however mean that all SFS / SFFS pseudocode will need rewriting to be in terms of XLEN. This has the indirect side-effect of automatically making a 32-bit Scalar Power ISA Specification possible, as well as a future 128-bit one (Cross-reference: RISC-V RV32 and RV128
  9. adding a parity (XOR) option was too much. instead a parallel-reduction on crxor may be used in combination with a Scalar Branch.
  10. Setting this "multiplier" to 1 clearly leaves pre-existing Scalar behaviour completely intact as a degenerate case.
  11. Effectively: GPR(RA+r3)
  12. At least the CISC "auto-increment" modes are not present, from the CDC 6600 and Motorola 68000! although these would be fun to introduce they do unfortunately make for 3-in 3-out register profiles, all 64-bit, which explains why the 6600 and 68000 had separate special dedicated address regfiles.
  13. the alternative to powerful transfer instructions between GPR and CR Fields was to add the full duplicated suite of BMI and TBM operations present in GPR (popcnt, cntlz, set-before-first) as CR Field Operations. all of which was deemed inappropriate.
  14. Compiler auto-vectorization for best exploitation of SIMD and Vector ISAs on Scalar programming languages (c, c++) is an Indusstry-wide known-hard decades-long problem. Cross-reference the number of hand-optimised assembler algorithms.
  15. intended for use when the compiler has determined the extent of Memory or register aliases in loops: a[i] += a[i+4] would necessitate a Vertical-First hphint of 4
  16. a case could be made for constructing Complex number arithmetic using multiple sequential Horizontal-First (Cray-style Vector) instructions. This may not be convenient in the least when REMAP is involved (such as Parallel Reduction of Complex Multiply).
  17. two efforts were made to mix non-uniform encodings into Simple-V space: one deliberate to see how it would go, and one accidental. They both went extremely badly, the deliberate one costing over two months to add then remove.
  18. Recall that EXT100 to EXT163 is for Public v3.1 64-bit-augmented Operations prefixed by EXT001, for which, from Section 1.6.3, bit 6 is set to 1. This concept is where the above scheme originated. Section 1.6.3 uses the term "Defined Word-instruction" to refer to pre-existing EXT000-EXT063 32-bit instructions so prefixed to create the new numbering EXT100-EXT163, respectively
  19. reminder that this proposal only needs 75% of two POs for Scalar instructions. The rest of EXT200-263 is for general use.