[Libre-soc-dev] Vector Supercomputing ISA and 3D GPU resources

lkcl luke.leighton at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 12:47:25 BST 2021

Richard if you can drop these onto the main SV page, from "links to actual GPUs" onwards, and any others that you find (no need to add the transcendentals, that's already there) that would be most helpful.


these are all, deep breath, basically... required reading, *as well as and in addition* to a full and comprehensive deep technical understanding of the Power ISA, in order to understand the depth and background on SVP64 as a 3D GPU and VPU Extension.

i am keenly aware that each of them is each 300 to 1,000 pages (just like the Power ISA itself).

this is just how it is.

given the sheer overwhelming size and scope of SVP64 we have gone to CONSIDERABLE LENGTHS to provide justification and rationalisation for adding the various sub-extensions to the Base Scalar Power ISA.

* Scalar bitmanipulation is justifiable for the exact same reasons the extensions are justifiable for other ISAs. the additional justification for their inclusion where some instructions are already (sort-of) present in VSX is that VSX is not mandatory, and VSX too high a price to pay at the Embedded SFFS Compliancy Level.

* Scalar FP-to-INT conversions, likewise.  ARM has a javascript conversion instruction, Power ISA does not (and it costs a ridiculous 45 instructions to implement, including 6 branches!)

* Scalar Transcendentals (SIN, COS, ATAN2, LOG) are easily justifiable for High-Performance Compute workloads.

it also has to be pointed out that normally this work would be covered by multiple separate full-time Workgroups with multiple Members contributing their time and resources!

overall the contributions that we are developing take the Power ISA out of the specialist highly-focussed market it is presently best known for, and expands it into areas with much wider general adoption and broader uses.


OpenCL specifications are linked here, these are relevant when we get to a 3D GPU / High Performance Compute ISA WG RFC:

(failure to add Transcendentals to a 3D GPU is directly equivalent to *wilfully* designing a product that is 100% destined for commercial failure.)

i mention these because they will be encountered in every single commercial GPU ISA, but they're not part of the "Base" (core design) of a Vector Processor. Transcendentals can be added as a sub-RFC.


links to actual 3D GPUs, architectures (and ISAs where such scant information is available):

* Broadcom Videocore

* Etnaviv

* Nyuzi



* MIAOW which is *NOT* a 3D GPU, it is a processor which happens to implement a subset of the AMDGPU ISA (Southern Islands), aka a "GPGPU"

Actual Vector Processor Architectures and ISAs:

* SX Aurora

* Cray ISA


* MRISC32 ISA Manual (under active development)

* Mitch Alsup's MyISA 66000 Vector Processor ISA Manual is available from Mitch on direct contact with him.  it is a different approach from the others, which may be termed "Cray-Style Horizontal-First" Vectorisation.  66000 is a *Vertical-First* Vector ISA.

The term Horizontal or Vertical alludes to the Matrix "Row-First" or "Column-First" technique, where:

* Horizontal-First processes all elements in a Vector before moving on to the next instruction
* Vertical-First processes *ONE* element per instruction, and requires loop constructs to explicitly step to the next element.

* MyISA is Vertical by design.
* Cray, SX Aurora, RVV, are Horizontal by design
* SVP64 supports both.


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