Vector TG minutes from 2020/10/9 meeting

Krste Asanovic

Date: 2020/10/9
Task Group: Vector Extension
Chair: Krste Asanovic
Co-Chair: Roger Espasa
Number of Attendees: ~12
Current issues on github:

# 576 vlsegff exception behavior

Proposal is to allow updates of destination registers with portions of
a segment even if fault occurs that causes vl be trimmed to start of segment.
This simplifies implementation executing portions of a segment

It was noted that software cannot in general rely on no modification past trimmed
vl anyway, only in contrived cases relying on non-zero vstart and known
protection boundaries.

Unaligned elements within non-segment unit-stride fault-on-first are
handled in same way as partial segment. If we later add indexed
segment fault-on-first (longer encoding), could have issue with
overlap (though usually would redo stripmine loop from new start

Discussion continued on to interaction with debug watchpoints.
Consensus was that watchpoints shall not cause vl trimming, as this
would change behavior of code. Instead the debug trap is taken, and
debug mode figures out what to do, possibly just restarting
instruction at vstart with untrimmed vl.

Also, decided that shouldn't trim on interrupt trap, as should go handle
the interrupt and resume at vstart. Interrupt can always be deferred
until instruction end (module concerns on interrupt latency).

Another case was whether to allow VL-trimming on cache misses. This
would allow stripmine loop to continue with elements already available
in cache while waiting for rest of vector to arrive from memory.

Also, if ECC error detected should this trap or trim VL?

General consensus was to allow vl-trimming to any random location to
give implementations flexibility, except that element 0 must always be
processed to ensure forward progress.