[Pixman] Prototype JIT compiler

André Tupinambá andrelrt at gmail.com
Sat Feb 8 11:41:06 PST 2014

Hi Soren,

Long time no see.

I just finished my master degree and was thinking about to return my
contributions to pixman project, exactly in JIT compiler but with LLVM.

What do you think about? Is it a bad idea to create a dependency with LLVM?
Or will we get better results developing another infrastructure?


André Tupinambá

On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 9:15 PM, Søren Sandmann <soren.sandmann at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
> Over the Christmas holidays, I spent some time writing a prototype JIT
> compiler for pixman. Since I may not be able to spend much time working
> on it in the near future, I thought I'd write up a bit of information
> about it, in case someone else wants to play around with it.
> The code is available in this branch:
>     http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~sandmann/pixman/commit/?h=jit
> Some things about it work quite well I think:
> - pixman-jit-x86-asm.[ch]:
> These files are a runtime assembler for x86 (both 64 and 32 bit). It
> supports most things that you expect from an assembler, such as labels
> and code alignment. It also correctly selects the best encoding whenever
> there is a choice (eg., for "add rax, $17" it will pick the short
> encoding available for the rax register). It also uses short jumps
> whenever possible.
> At the same time, the code is compact and fast. All the instructions are
> described in one big ~40Kb table, and the rest of the code (apart from
> the table) is just 1600 lines. It doesn't support every x86 instruction,
> but it's easy to add anything that is missing (although AVX-512 with its
> optional arguments may require a bit of work to support).
> If/when support for other architectures is added, this file would likely
> have to be split up in order to share the code for "bookkeeping" (labels
> etc.), while allowing different instruction sets.
> A missing feature is the ability to free the generated code, and there
> are almost certainly bugs related to out-of-memory conditions.
> The way to use it is like this:
>     fragment1 = assembler_create_fragment (asm);
>     BEGIN_ASM (fragment1)
>           DEFINE_LABEL ("begin"),
>           I_mov,         rax,       IMM (17),
>           I_add,         rbx,       rax,
>           I_jne,         LABEL ("done"),
>           I_jmp,         LABEL ("begin"),
>           DEFINE_LABEL ("done"),
>           I_ret,
>     END_ASM ();
>     code = assembler_link (asm, fragment1, fragment2, NULL);
> where assembler_link will concatenate the code described in fragment1
> and fragment2, resolve labels and jumps, then return a pointer to
> executable code.
> - pixman-jit-code-manager.[ch]:
> These files handle memory management for executable memory, ie., mapping
> files and marking them writable and executable as needed. When SELinux
> and other security features are involved you can't just malloc() some
> memory and execute it.
> An interesting potential feature would be to make the allocated files
> ELF files so that they would show up in profilers. The main missing
> piece here is the ability to free allocated memory.
> (And of course there is no support for Windows or anything else
> non-Linux).
> - New pixman infrastructure to deal with jitted compositing functions
> This turned out to be a pretty simple extension of the 'fast path'
> mechanism already in place. Instead of implementations exposing a table
> of fast paths, they now expose a pair of functions 'create_composite'
> and 'destroy_composite' that are passed the flags supported by the
> images in questions, where by default create_composite() simply scans
> the fast path table looking for a match, and destroy_composite() is a
> noop.
> When a fast path is evicted from the cache, destroy_composite() is
> called. A jitting implementation can then simply have its
> create_composite() jit a compositing function and destroy it in
> destroy_composite(). Caching is then handled by the existing
> mechanism. (It may be useful to expand the fast path cache if jitting
> turns out to be very expensive).
> The less convincing part is pixman-x86-jit.[ch], which is a jitting
> implementation for x86-64 that can generate various blitter-type
> compositing functions. This means it isn't all that useful right now
> because pixman-sse2.c has those covered pretty well.
> Also, while the code generated isn't totally awful, it isn't really
> great either. In particular, it is built on the assumption that
> source/mask/destination will be converted to a8r8g8b8/a8/a8r8g8b8 and
> then combined. However, in many cases, this isn't optimal:
> - For a8b8g8r8 OVER a8b8g8r8 it is clearly counterproductive to convert
>   both source and destination to a8r8g8b8, and then convert back to
>   a8b8g8r8.
> - For solid sources we want to do all the source swizzing outside of the
>   main loop, and also extract the alpha channel into its own
>   register. There is no support for this currently.
> Another less-convincing bit is the register allocator, which is as dumb
> as possible. All it does is keeping track of available registers and
> hand them out as needed. There is no spilling, and if it runs out of
> registers, it will simply abort().
> This is sufficient for generating blitters on x86-64 (provided the
> aborting is turned into giving up), where we have 14 general purpose
> registers, but won't be good enough for x86-32, nor will it be good
> enough if more complicated sources than regular untransformed images are
> added.
> There is also no support for dealing with constants. When there is
> enough registers, we want to allocate constants in registers; when there
> isn't we want to put them ideally in one shared constant pool, but
> otherwise, on the stack, or directly embedded in the code (in the case
> of x86-64, where we have RIP-relative addressing).
> Right now, certain specific constants are just permanently allocated in
> registers, but this is not ideal.
> Finally, there is a large number of boring, but straightforward, tasks,
> such as dealing with OOM and fixing memory leaks. Also the patch series
> of course would need to be cleaned up.
> Anyway, if anyone is interested in this, I'll be happy to answer
> questions either here on the mailing list or on IRC, but as mentioned I
> may not be able to do a lot of work on it for a while.
> Søren
> _______________________________________________
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> Pixman at lists.freedesktop.org
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/pixman
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