ARM.SoC.Architecture

Internally arm puts the meaningless instruction into

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Unformatted text preview: yet entered decode. Since the objective, in some cases, is to retry the instruction when the cause of the fault has been resolved, the instruction should do its best to ensure that its state (that is, its register values) after an abort is unchanged from its state before it started executing. Failing that, it should at least ensure that enough state can be recovered so that after the instruction has been executed a second time its state is the same as it would have been had the instruction completed the first time. To see just how hard this can get, consider a load multiple instruction with 16 registers in the register list using r0 as the base register. Initially the addresses are fine, so the loading begins. The first data value to arrive overwrites r0, then successive registers get written until the final address (destined for the PC) crosses a page boundary and faults. Most of the processor state has been lost. How can the processor recover? The abort signal is just in time to prevent the PC from being overwritten, so at least we have an address for the instruction that caused the fault. But we appear to have lost the base register a long time back, so how can the instruction be retried? Fortunately the processor has kept a copy of the base register value (possibly after auto-indexing) in a dark corner while the instruction was proceeding, so the last act of the instruction, when it should have been changing the PC to the new value had the PC access not faulted, is instead to copy this preserved value back into the base register. Prefetch aborts Data aborts LDM data abort 146 The ARM Instruction Set So we have preserved the PC and the (modified) base register, but we have overwritten several other registers in the meantime. The base register modification can be reversed by software, since we can inspect the instruction and determine the number of registers in the list and the addressing mode. The overwritten registers are exactly those that we will load again with the correct values when we retry the instruction, so all is well (just!). An historical note The requirement to recover from d...
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This document was uploaded on 10/30/2011 for the course CSE 378 380 at SUNY Buffalo.

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