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RISC-V Introduction
2015
issue.hsu@gmail.com
Outline
• What is RISC-V
• ISA Design
• Calling Convention
• Software
• Implementations
• Experiment Results
• References
2
What is RISC-V
What is RISC-V
• RISC-V (pronounced "risk-five") is an open source implementation of
a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) based instruction set
architecture (ISA)
• Most ISAs are commercially protected by patents, preventing
practical efforts to reproduce the computer systems. In contrast,
RISC-V is open, permitting any person or group to construct
compatible computers, and use associated software
• The project was originated in 2010 by researchers in the Computer
Science Division at UC Berkeley, but it now has a large number of
contributors. As of 2014 version 2 of the userspace ISA is fixed
– User-Level ISA Specification v2.0
– Draft Compressed ISA Specification v1.7
– Draft Privileged ISA Specification v1.7
4
Why not use OpenRISC? Or MIPS?
• When start developing RISC-V in 2010, we decided against adopting
the OpenRISC ISA for several technical reasons:
– OpenRISC had condition codes and branch delay slots, which complicate higher
performance implementations
– OpenRISC uses a fixed 32-bit encoding and 16-bit immediates, which precludes a
denser instruction encoding and limits space for later expansion of the ISA. This
pretty much entirely eliminates the ability to explore new research architectures
– OpenRISC does not support the 2008 revision to the IEEE 754 floating-point
standard
– There was no 64-bit address space version of OpenRISC when we began. While
there has been some work since 2010 towards the 64-bit address space version
of OpenRISC, hardware implementations and software stacks are still not
available
• Many of the above reasons also apply to MIPS, but with the added
legacy and patent and trademark issues
• By starting from a clean slate, we could design an ISA that met all of
our goals 5
Why RISC-V? Goals in defining RISC-V
• A completely open ISA that is freely available to academia and
industry
• A real ISA suitable for direct native hardware implementation, not just
simulation or binary translation
• An ISA that avoids "over-architecting" for a particular
microarchitecture style (e.g., microcoded, in-order, decoupled, out-of-
order) or implementation technology (e.g., full-custom, ASIC, FPGA),
but which allows efficient implementation in any of these
• An ISA separated into a small base integer ISA, usable by itself as a
base for customized accelerators or for educational purposes, and
optional standard extensions, to support general-purpose software
development
• Support for the revised 2008 IEEE-754 floating-point standard
6
Why RISC-V? Goals in defining RISC-V
• An ISA supporting extensive user-level ISA extensions and
specialized variants
• 32-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit address space variants for applications,
operating system kernels, and hardware implementations
• An ISA with support for highly-parallel multicore or manycore
implementations, including heterogeneous multiprocessors
• Optional variable-length instructions to both expand available
instruction encoding space and to support an optional dense
instruction encoding for improved performance, static code size, and
energy efficiency
• A fully virtualizable ISA to ease hypervisor development
• An ISA that simplifies experiments with new supervisor-level and
hypervisor-level ISA designs
7
What is the license model for the ISA
specification
• It is a BSD Open Source License. This is a non-viral license, only
asking that if you use it, you acknowledge the authors, in this case
UC Berkeley. We have not filed nor do we intend to file any patents
that would be required to implement a RISC-V-compatible processor
• While we know of no patents that are required to implement the
RISC-V ISA, there are many micro-architectural patents that might be
infringed by a particular RISC-V implementation. We cannot
indemnify users against ISA or implementation patents asserted by
others
• One goal of the proposed RISC-V consortium is to maintain and track
possible patent issues for RISC-V implementors
8
RISC-V ISA Design
ISA Design
• RISC-V has 32 integer registers and can have 32 floating-point registers
– Register number 0 is a constant 0
– Register number 1 is the return address (link register)
• The memory is addressed by 8-bit bytes
• The instructions must be aligned to 32-bit addresses
• Like many RISC designs, it is a "load-store" machine
– The only instructions that access main memory are loads and stores
– All arithmetic and logic operations occur between registers
• RISC-V can load and store 8 and 16-bit items, but it lacks 8 and 16-bit arithmetic,
including comparison-and-branch instructions
• The 64-bit instruction set includes 32-bit arithmetic
10
ISA Design
• The instruction set includes other features to increase a computer's
speed, while reducing its cost and power usage
– These include placing most-significant bits at a fixed location to speed sign-
extension, and a bit-arrangement designed to reduce the number of multiplexers
in a CPU
11
ISA Design
• RISC-V intentionally lacks condition codes, and even lacks a carry bit
– The designers claim that this can simplify CPU designs by minimizing interactions
between instructions
• Instead RISC-V builds comparison operations into its conditional-
jumps
12
ISA Design
• The lack of a carry bit complicates multiple-precision arithmetic
– GMP, MPFR
• RISC-V does not detect or flag most arithmetic errors, including
overflow, underflow and divide by zero
– We did not include special instruction set support for overflow checks on integer
arithmetic operations.
– Most popular programming languages do not support checks for integer overflow,
partly because most architectures impose a significant runtime penalty to check
for overflow on integer arithmetic and partly because modulo arithmetic is
sometimes the desired behavior
– Floating-Point Control and Status Register
13
ISA Design
• RISC-V also lacks the "count leading zero" and bit-field operations
normally used to speed software floating-point in a pure-integer
processor
• Many RISC designs include a branch delay slot, a position after a
branch instruction that can be filled with an instruction which is
executed regardless of whether the branch is taken or not
– This feature can improve performance of pipelined processors, but it was omitted
because it complicates both multicycle CPUs and superscalar CPUs
• Like most RISC CPUs, RISC-V lacks address-modes that "write
back" to the registers
– For example, it does not do auto-incrementing
14
ISA Design
• A load or store can add a twelve-bit signed offset to a register that
contains an address. A further 20 bits (yielding a 32-bit address) can
be generated at an absolute address
– RISC-V was designed to permit position-independent code. It has a special
instruction to generate 20 upper address bits that are relative to the program
counter. The lower twelve bits are provided by normal loads, stores and jumps
– LUI (load upper immediate) places the U-immediate value in the top 20 bits of the
destination register rd, filling in the lowest 12 bits with zeros
– AUIPC (add upper immediate to pc) is used to build pc-relative addresses, forms a
32-bit offset from the 20-bit U-immediate, filling in the lowest 12 bits with zeros,
adds this offset to the pc, then places the result in register rd
15
ISA Design
• The RISC-V instruction set was designed for research, and therefore
includes extra space for new instructions
– Planned instruction subsets include system instructions, atomic access, integer multiplication,
floating-point arithmetic, bit-manipulation, decimal floating-point, multimedia and vector
processing
10/21/2015 16
– It includes instructions for 32-bit,
64-bit and 128-bit integer and
floating-point
– It was designed for 32-bit, 64-bit
and 128-bit memory systems,
with 32-bit models designed for
lower power, 64-bit for higher
performance, and 128-bit for
future requirements
– It's designed to operate with
hypervisors, supporting
virtualization
– It was designed to conform to
recent floating-point standards
RISC-V Calling Convention
Calling Convention
• C Datatypes and Alignment
– RV32 employs an ILP32 integer model, while RV64 is LP64
– Floating-point types are IEEE 754-2008 compatible
– All of the data types are keeped naturally aligned when stored in memory
– char is implicitly unsigned
– In RV64, 32-bit types, such as int, are stored in integer registers as proper sign
extensions of their 32-bit values; that is, bits 63..31 are all equal
• This restriction holds even for unsigned 32-bit types
18
Calling Convention
• RVG Calling Convention
– If the arguments to a function are conceptualized as fields of a C struct, each with
pointer alignment, the argument registers are a shadow of the first eight pointer-
words of that struct
• Floating-point arguments that are part of unions or array fields of structures are passed in
integer registers
• Floating-point arguments to variadic functions (except those that are explicitly named in the
parameter list) are passed in integer registers
– The portion of the conceptual struct that is not passed in argument registers is
passed on the stack
• The stack pointer sp points to the first argument not passed in a register
– Arguments smaller than a pointer-word are passed in the least-significant bits of
argument registers
– When primitive arguments twice the size of a pointer-word are passed on the
stack, they are naturally aligned
• When they are passed in the integer registers, they reside in an aligned even-odd register
pair, with the even register holding the least-significant bits
– Arguments more than twice the size of a pointer-word are passed by reference
19
Calling Convention
– The stack grows downward and the stack pointer is always kept 16-byte aligned
– Values are returned from functions in integer registers v0 and v1 and floating-point
registers fv0 and fv1
• Floating-point values are returned in floating-point registers only if they are primitives or
members of a struct consisting of only one or two floating-point values
• Other return values that fit into two pointer-words are returned in v0 and v1
• Larger return values are passed entirely in memory; the caller allocates this memory region
and passes a pointer to it as an implicit first parameter to the callee
20
RISC-V Software
Software
• The RISC-V website has a specification for user-mode instructions, a draft
for privileged ISA specification and a draft for compressed ISA specification
• It also includes the files of six CPU designs, the 64-bit superscalar "Rocket"
and five "Sodor" CPUs
• The software includes a design compiler, Chisel, which is able to reduce the
designs to Verilog for use in devices
• The website includes verification data for testing core implementations
• Available RISC-V software includes a GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)
toolchain (with GDB, the debugger), an LLVM toolchain, a simulator ("Spike")
and the standard simulator QEMU
• Operating systems support exists for Linux, but the supervisor-mode
instructions are not standardized at this time
• There is also a JavaScript ISA simulator to run a RISC-V Linux system on a
web browser
22
RISC-V Implementations
Implementations
• The RISC-V ISA has been designed to result in faster, less-
expensive, smaller, and less-power-hungry electronics.
• It is carefully designed not to make assumptions about the structure
of the computers on which it runs.
– Validating this, the UCB Sodor cores were implemented as different types of
computers
• RISC-V is designed to be extensible from a 32-bit bare bones integer
core suitable for a small embedded processor to 64 or 128-bit super
and cloud computers with standard and special purpose extensions.
– It has been tested in a fast pipelined silicon design with the open Rocket SoC.
• The UCB processor designs that implement RISC-V are implemented
using Chisel, an open-source hardware construction language that is
a specialized dialect of Scala.
– 'Chisel' is an abbreviation: Constructing Hardware In a Scala Embedded
Language
24
Implementations
• The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is developing six RISC-V
open-source CPU designs (SHAKTI) for six distinct usages, from a
small 32-bit CPU for the Internet of Things to large, 64-bit CPUs
designed for warehouse-scale computers based on RapidIO and
Hybrid Memory Cube technologies.
• Bluespec, Inc., a semiconductor tools company, is exploring RISC-V
as a possible product.
• lowRISC is a non profit project that aims to implement a fully open-
source SoC based on the 64-Bit RISC-V ISA.
• The planned multimedia set may include a general-purpose mixed-
precision vector processor similar to the research project “Hwacha.”
25
References
Resources
• http://riscv.org/workshop-jan2015.html
• http://riscv.org/tutorial-hpca2015.html
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC-V
• http://www.adapteva.com/andreas-blog/analyzing-the-risc-v-
instruction-set-architecture/
27

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RISC-V Introduction

  • 2. Outline • What is RISC-V • ISA Design • Calling Convention • Software • Implementations • Experiment Results • References 2
  • 4. What is RISC-V • RISC-V (pronounced "risk-five") is an open source implementation of a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) based instruction set architecture (ISA) • Most ISAs are commercially protected by patents, preventing practical efforts to reproduce the computer systems. In contrast, RISC-V is open, permitting any person or group to construct compatible computers, and use associated software • The project was originated in 2010 by researchers in the Computer Science Division at UC Berkeley, but it now has a large number of contributors. As of 2014 version 2 of the userspace ISA is fixed – User-Level ISA Specification v2.0 – Draft Compressed ISA Specification v1.7 – Draft Privileged ISA Specification v1.7 4
  • 5. Why not use OpenRISC? Or MIPS? • When start developing RISC-V in 2010, we decided against adopting the OpenRISC ISA for several technical reasons: – OpenRISC had condition codes and branch delay slots, which complicate higher performance implementations – OpenRISC uses a fixed 32-bit encoding and 16-bit immediates, which precludes a denser instruction encoding and limits space for later expansion of the ISA. This pretty much entirely eliminates the ability to explore new research architectures – OpenRISC does not support the 2008 revision to the IEEE 754 floating-point standard – There was no 64-bit address space version of OpenRISC when we began. While there has been some work since 2010 towards the 64-bit address space version of OpenRISC, hardware implementations and software stacks are still not available • Many of the above reasons also apply to MIPS, but with the added legacy and patent and trademark issues • By starting from a clean slate, we could design an ISA that met all of our goals 5
  • 6. Why RISC-V? Goals in defining RISC-V • A completely open ISA that is freely available to academia and industry • A real ISA suitable for direct native hardware implementation, not just simulation or binary translation • An ISA that avoids "over-architecting" for a particular microarchitecture style (e.g., microcoded, in-order, decoupled, out-of- order) or implementation technology (e.g., full-custom, ASIC, FPGA), but which allows efficient implementation in any of these • An ISA separated into a small base integer ISA, usable by itself as a base for customized accelerators or for educational purposes, and optional standard extensions, to support general-purpose software development • Support for the revised 2008 IEEE-754 floating-point standard 6
  • 7. Why RISC-V? Goals in defining RISC-V • An ISA supporting extensive user-level ISA extensions and specialized variants • 32-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit address space variants for applications, operating system kernels, and hardware implementations • An ISA with support for highly-parallel multicore or manycore implementations, including heterogeneous multiprocessors • Optional variable-length instructions to both expand available instruction encoding space and to support an optional dense instruction encoding for improved performance, static code size, and energy efficiency • A fully virtualizable ISA to ease hypervisor development • An ISA that simplifies experiments with new supervisor-level and hypervisor-level ISA designs 7
  • 8. What is the license model for the ISA specification • It is a BSD Open Source License. This is a non-viral license, only asking that if you use it, you acknowledge the authors, in this case UC Berkeley. We have not filed nor do we intend to file any patents that would be required to implement a RISC-V-compatible processor • While we know of no patents that are required to implement the RISC-V ISA, there are many micro-architectural patents that might be infringed by a particular RISC-V implementation. We cannot indemnify users against ISA or implementation patents asserted by others • One goal of the proposed RISC-V consortium is to maintain and track possible patent issues for RISC-V implementors 8
  • 10. ISA Design • RISC-V has 32 integer registers and can have 32 floating-point registers – Register number 0 is a constant 0 – Register number 1 is the return address (link register) • The memory is addressed by 8-bit bytes • The instructions must be aligned to 32-bit addresses • Like many RISC designs, it is a "load-store" machine – The only instructions that access main memory are loads and stores – All arithmetic and logic operations occur between registers • RISC-V can load and store 8 and 16-bit items, but it lacks 8 and 16-bit arithmetic, including comparison-and-branch instructions • The 64-bit instruction set includes 32-bit arithmetic 10
  • 11. ISA Design • The instruction set includes other features to increase a computer's speed, while reducing its cost and power usage – These include placing most-significant bits at a fixed location to speed sign- extension, and a bit-arrangement designed to reduce the number of multiplexers in a CPU 11
  • 12. ISA Design • RISC-V intentionally lacks condition codes, and even lacks a carry bit – The designers claim that this can simplify CPU designs by minimizing interactions between instructions • Instead RISC-V builds comparison operations into its conditional- jumps 12
  • 13. ISA Design • The lack of a carry bit complicates multiple-precision arithmetic – GMP, MPFR • RISC-V does not detect or flag most arithmetic errors, including overflow, underflow and divide by zero – We did not include special instruction set support for overflow checks on integer arithmetic operations. – Most popular programming languages do not support checks for integer overflow, partly because most architectures impose a significant runtime penalty to check for overflow on integer arithmetic and partly because modulo arithmetic is sometimes the desired behavior – Floating-Point Control and Status Register 13
  • 14. ISA Design • RISC-V also lacks the "count leading zero" and bit-field operations normally used to speed software floating-point in a pure-integer processor • Many RISC designs include a branch delay slot, a position after a branch instruction that can be filled with an instruction which is executed regardless of whether the branch is taken or not – This feature can improve performance of pipelined processors, but it was omitted because it complicates both multicycle CPUs and superscalar CPUs • Like most RISC CPUs, RISC-V lacks address-modes that "write back" to the registers – For example, it does not do auto-incrementing 14
  • 15. ISA Design • A load or store can add a twelve-bit signed offset to a register that contains an address. A further 20 bits (yielding a 32-bit address) can be generated at an absolute address – RISC-V was designed to permit position-independent code. It has a special instruction to generate 20 upper address bits that are relative to the program counter. The lower twelve bits are provided by normal loads, stores and jumps – LUI (load upper immediate) places the U-immediate value in the top 20 bits of the destination register rd, filling in the lowest 12 bits with zeros – AUIPC (add upper immediate to pc) is used to build pc-relative addresses, forms a 32-bit offset from the 20-bit U-immediate, filling in the lowest 12 bits with zeros, adds this offset to the pc, then places the result in register rd 15
  • 16. ISA Design • The RISC-V instruction set was designed for research, and therefore includes extra space for new instructions – Planned instruction subsets include system instructions, atomic access, integer multiplication, floating-point arithmetic, bit-manipulation, decimal floating-point, multimedia and vector processing 10/21/2015 16 – It includes instructions for 32-bit, 64-bit and 128-bit integer and floating-point – It was designed for 32-bit, 64-bit and 128-bit memory systems, with 32-bit models designed for lower power, 64-bit for higher performance, and 128-bit for future requirements – It's designed to operate with hypervisors, supporting virtualization – It was designed to conform to recent floating-point standards
  • 18. Calling Convention • C Datatypes and Alignment – RV32 employs an ILP32 integer model, while RV64 is LP64 – Floating-point types are IEEE 754-2008 compatible – All of the data types are keeped naturally aligned when stored in memory – char is implicitly unsigned – In RV64, 32-bit types, such as int, are stored in integer registers as proper sign extensions of their 32-bit values; that is, bits 63..31 are all equal • This restriction holds even for unsigned 32-bit types 18
  • 19. Calling Convention • RVG Calling Convention – If the arguments to a function are conceptualized as fields of a C struct, each with pointer alignment, the argument registers are a shadow of the first eight pointer- words of that struct • Floating-point arguments that are part of unions or array fields of structures are passed in integer registers • Floating-point arguments to variadic functions (except those that are explicitly named in the parameter list) are passed in integer registers – The portion of the conceptual struct that is not passed in argument registers is passed on the stack • The stack pointer sp points to the first argument not passed in a register – Arguments smaller than a pointer-word are passed in the least-significant bits of argument registers – When primitive arguments twice the size of a pointer-word are passed on the stack, they are naturally aligned • When they are passed in the integer registers, they reside in an aligned even-odd register pair, with the even register holding the least-significant bits – Arguments more than twice the size of a pointer-word are passed by reference 19
  • 20. Calling Convention – The stack grows downward and the stack pointer is always kept 16-byte aligned – Values are returned from functions in integer registers v0 and v1 and floating-point registers fv0 and fv1 • Floating-point values are returned in floating-point registers only if they are primitives or members of a struct consisting of only one or two floating-point values • Other return values that fit into two pointer-words are returned in v0 and v1 • Larger return values are passed entirely in memory; the caller allocates this memory region and passes a pointer to it as an implicit first parameter to the callee 20
  • 22. Software • The RISC-V website has a specification for user-mode instructions, a draft for privileged ISA specification and a draft for compressed ISA specification • It also includes the files of six CPU designs, the 64-bit superscalar "Rocket" and five "Sodor" CPUs • The software includes a design compiler, Chisel, which is able to reduce the designs to Verilog for use in devices • The website includes verification data for testing core implementations • Available RISC-V software includes a GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) toolchain (with GDB, the debugger), an LLVM toolchain, a simulator ("Spike") and the standard simulator QEMU • Operating systems support exists for Linux, but the supervisor-mode instructions are not standardized at this time • There is also a JavaScript ISA simulator to run a RISC-V Linux system on a web browser 22
  • 24. Implementations • The RISC-V ISA has been designed to result in faster, less- expensive, smaller, and less-power-hungry electronics. • It is carefully designed not to make assumptions about the structure of the computers on which it runs. – Validating this, the UCB Sodor cores were implemented as different types of computers • RISC-V is designed to be extensible from a 32-bit bare bones integer core suitable for a small embedded processor to 64 or 128-bit super and cloud computers with standard and special purpose extensions. – It has been tested in a fast pipelined silicon design with the open Rocket SoC. • The UCB processor designs that implement RISC-V are implemented using Chisel, an open-source hardware construction language that is a specialized dialect of Scala. – 'Chisel' is an abbreviation: Constructing Hardware In a Scala Embedded Language 24
  • 25. Implementations • The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is developing six RISC-V open-source CPU designs (SHAKTI) for six distinct usages, from a small 32-bit CPU for the Internet of Things to large, 64-bit CPUs designed for warehouse-scale computers based on RapidIO and Hybrid Memory Cube technologies. • Bluespec, Inc., a semiconductor tools company, is exploring RISC-V as a possible product. • lowRISC is a non profit project that aims to implement a fully open- source SoC based on the 64-Bit RISC-V ISA. • The planned multimedia set may include a general-purpose mixed- precision vector processor similar to the research project “Hwacha.” 25
  • 27. Resources • http://riscv.org/workshop-jan2015.html • http://riscv.org/tutorial-hpca2015.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC-V • http://www.adapteva.com/andreas-blog/analyzing-the-risc-v- instruction-set-architecture/ 27