This is Info file gcc.info, produced by Makeinfo-1.49 from the input
file gcc.texi.

   This file documents the use and the internals of the GNU compiler.

   Copyright (C) 1988, 1989, 1992 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

   Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
preserved on all copies.

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of
this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also
that the sections entitled "GNU General Public License" and "Protect
Your Freedom--Fight `Look And Feel'" are included exactly as in the
original, and provided that the entire resulting derived work is
distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
versions, except that the sections entitled "GNU General Public
License" and "Protect Your Freedom--Fight `Look And Feel'", and this
permission notice, may be included in translations approved by the Free
Software Foundation instead of in the original English.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Patterns,  Next: Example,  Prev: Machine Desc,  Up: Machine Desc

Everything about Instruction Patterns

   Each instruction pattern contains an incomplete RTL expression, with
pieces to be filled in later, operand constraints that restrict how the
pieces can be filled in, and an output pattern or C code to generate
the assembler output, all wrapped up in a `define_insn' expression.

   A `define_insn' is an RTL expression containing four or five

  1. An optional name.  The presence of a name indicate that this
     instruction pattern can perform a certain standard job for the
     RTL-generation pass of the compiler.  This pass knows certain
     names and will use the instruction patterns with those names, if
     the names are defined in the machine description.

     The absence of a name is indicated by writing an empty string
     where the name should go.  Nameless instruction patterns are never
     used for generating RTL code, but they may permit several simpler
     insns to be combined later on.

     Names that are not thus known and used in RTL-generation have no
     effect; they are equivalent to no name at all.

  2. The "RTL template" (*note RTL Template::.) is a vector of
     incomplete RTL expressions which show what the instruction should
     look like.  It is incomplete because it may contain
     `match_operand', `match_operator', and `match_dup' expressions
     that stand for operands of the instruction.

     If the vector has only one element, that element is the template
     for the instruction pattern.  If the vector has multiple elements,
     then the instruction pattern is a `parallel' expression containing
     the elements described.

  3. A condition.  This is a string which contains a C expression that
     is the final test to decide whether an insn body matches this

     For a named pattern, the condition (if present) may not depend on
     the data in the insn being matched, but only the
     target-machine-type flags.  The compiler needs to test these
     conditions during initialization in order to learn exactly which
     named instructions are available in a particular run.

     For nameless patterns, the condition is applied only when matching
     an individual insn, and only after the insn has matched the
     pattern's recognition template.  The insn's operands may be found
     in the vector `operands'.

  4. The "output template": a string that says how to output matching
     insns as assembler code.  `%' in this string specifies where to
     substitute the value of an operand.  *Note Output Template::.

     When simple substitution isn't general enough, you can specify a
     piece of C code to compute the output.  *Note Output Statement::.

  5. Optionally, a vector containing the values of attributes for insns
     matching this pattern.  *Note Insn Attributes::.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Example,  Next: RTL Template,  Prev: Patterns,  Up: Machine Desc

Example of `define_insn'

   Here is an actual example of an instruction pattern, for the

     (define_insn "tstsi"
       [(set (cc0)
             (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "rm"))]
     { if (TARGET_68020 || ! ADDRESS_REG_P (operands[0]))
         return \"tstl %0\";
       return \"cmpl #0,%0\"; }")

   This is an instruction that sets the condition codes based on the
value of a general operand.  It has no condition, so any insn whose RTL
description has the form shown may be handled according to this
pattern.  The name `tstsi' means "test a `SImode' value" and tells the
RTL generation pass that, when it is necessary to test such a value, an
insn to do so can be constructed using this pattern.

   The output control string is a piece of C code which chooses which
output template to return based on the kind of operand and the specific
type of CPU for which code is being generated.

   `"rm"' is an operand constraint.  Its meaning is explained below.

File: gcc.info,  Node: RTL Template,  Next: Output Template,  Prev: Example,  Up: Machine Desc

RTL Template for Generating and Recognizing Insns

   The RTL template is used to define which insns match the particular
pattern and how to find their operands.  For named patterns, the RTL
template also says how to construct an insn from specified operands.

   Construction involves substituting specified operands into a copy of
the template.  Matching involves determining the values that serve as
the operands in the insn being matched.  Both of these activities are
controlled by special expression types that direct matching and
substitution of the operands.

`(match_operand:M N PREDICATE CONSTRAINT)'
     This expression is a placeholder for operand number N of the insn.
      When constructing an insn, operand number N will be substituted
     at this point.  When matching an insn, whatever appears at this
     position in the insn will be taken as operand number N; but it
     must satisfy PREDICATE or this instruction pattern will not match
     at all.

     Operand numbers must be chosen consecutively counting from zero in
     each instruction pattern.  There may be only one `match_operand'
     expression in the pattern for each operand number.  Usually
     operands are numbered in the order of appearance in `match_operand'

     PREDICATE is a string that is the name of a C function that
     accepts two arguments, an expression and a machine mode.  During
     matching, the function will be called with the putative operand as
     the expression and M as the mode argument (if M is not specified,
     `VOIDmode' will be used, which normally causes PREDICATE to accept
     any mode).  If it returns zero, this instruction pattern fails to
     match. PREDICATE may be an empty string; then it means no test is
     to be done on the operand, so anything which occurs in this
     position is valid.

     Most of the time, PREDICATE will reject modes other than M--but
     not always.  For example, the predicate `address_operand' uses M
     as the mode of memory ref that the address should be valid for.
     Many predicates accept `const_int' nodes even though their mode is

     CONSTRAINT controls reloading and the choice of the best register
     class to use for a value, as explained later (*note

     People are often unclear on the difference between the constraint
     and the predicate.  The predicate helps decide whether a given
     insn matches the pattern.  The constraint plays no role in this
     decision; instead, it controls various decisions in the case of an
     insn which does match.

     On CISC machines, PREDICATE is most often `"general_operand"'.
     This function checks that the putative operand is either a
     constant, a register or a memory reference, and that it is valid
     for mode M.

     For an operand that must be a register, PREDICATE should be
     `"register_operand"'.  It would be valid to use
     `"general_operand"', since the reload pass would copy any
     non-register operands through registers, but this would make GNU
     CC do extra work, it would prevent invariant operands (such as
     constant) from being removed from loops, and it would prevent the
     register allocator from doing the best possible job.  On RISC
     machines, it is usually most efficient to allow PREDICATE to
     accept only objects that the constraints allow.

     For an operand that must be a constant, either use
     `"immediate_operand"' for PREDICATE, or make the instruction
     pattern's extra condition require a constant, or both.  You cannot
     expect the constraints to do this work!  If the constraints allow
     only constants, but the predicate allows something else, the
     compiler will crash when that case arises.

`(match_scratch:M N CONSTRAINT)'
     This expression is also a placeholder for operand number N and
     indicates that operand must be a `scratch' or `reg' expression.

     When matching patterns, this is completely equivalent to

          (match_operand:M N "scratch_operand" PRED)

     but, when generating RTL, it produces a (`scratch':M) expression.

     If the last few expressions in a `parallel' are `clobber'
     expressions whose operands are either a hard register or
     `match_scratch', the combiner can add them when necessary. *Note
     Side Effects::.

`(match_dup N)'
     This expression is also a placeholder for operand number N. It is
     used when the operand needs to appear more than once in the insn.

     In construction, `match_dup' behaves exactly like `match_operand':
     the operand is substituted into the insn being constructed.  But
     in matching, `match_dup' behaves differently. It assumes that
     operand number N has already been determined by a `match_operand'
     appearing earlier in the recognition template, and it matches only
     an identical-looking expression.

`(match_operator:M N PREDICATE [OPERANDS...])'
     This pattern is a kind of placeholder for a variable RTL expression

     When constructing an insn, it stands for an RTL expression whose
     expression code is taken from that of operand N, and whose
     operands are constructed from the patterns OPERANDS.

     When matching an expression, it matches an expression if the
     function PREDICATE returns nonzero on that expression *and* the
     patterns OPERANDS match the operands of the expression.

     Suppose that the function `commutative_operator' is defined as
     follows, to match any expression whose operator is one of the
     commutative arithmetic operators of RTL and whose mode is MODE:

          commutative_operator (x, mode)
               rtx x;
               enum machine_mode mode;
            enum rtx_code code = GET_CODE (x);
            if (GET_MODE (x) != mode)
              return 0;
            return GET_RTX_CLASS (code) == 'c' || code == EQ || code == NE;

     Then the following pattern will match any RTL expression consisting
     of a commutative operator applied to two general operands:

          (match_operator:SI 3 "commutative_operator"
            [(match_operand:SI 1 "general_operand" "g")
             (match_operand:SI 2 "general_operand" "g")])

     Here the vector `[OPERANDS...]' contains two patterns because the
     expressions to be matched all contain two operands.

     When this pattern does match, the two operands of the commutative
     operator are recorded as operands 1 and 2 of the insn.  (This is
     done by the two instances of `match_operand'.)  Operand 3 of the
     insn will be the entire commutative expression: use `GET_CODE
     (operands[3])' to see which commutative operator was used.

     The machine mode M of `match_operator' works like that of
     `match_operand': it is passed as the second argument to the
     predicate function, and that function is solely responsible for
     deciding whether the expression to be matched "has" that mode.

     When constructing an insn, argument 3 of the gen-function will
     specify the operation (i.e. the expression code) for the
     expression to be made.  It should be an RTL expression, whose
     expression code is copied into a new expression whose operands are
     arguments 1 and 2 of the gen-function.  The subexpressions of
     argument 3 are not used; only its expression code matters.

     When `match_operator' is used in a pattern for matching an insn,
     it usually best if the operand number of the `match_operator' is
     higher than that of the actual operands of the insn.  This improves
     register allocation because the register allocator often looks at
     operands 1 and 2 of insns to see if it can do register tying.

     There is no way to specify constraints in `match_operator'.  The
     operand of the insn which corresponds to the `match_operator'
     never has any constraints because it is never reloaded as a whole.
     However, if parts of its OPERANDS are matched by `match_operand'
     patterns, those parts may have constraints of their own.

`(match_op_dup:M N[OPERANDS...])'
     Like `match_dup', except that it applies to operators instead of
     operands.  When constructing an insn, operand number N will be
     substituted at this point.  But in matching, `match_op_dup' behaves
     differently.  It assumes that operand number N has already been
     determined by a `match_operator' appearing earlier in the
     recognition template, and it matches only an identical-looking

`(match_parallel N PREDICATE [SUBPAT...])'
     This pattern is a placeholder for an insn that consists of a
     `parallel' expression with a variable number of elements.  This
     expression should only appear at the top level of an insn pattern.

     When constructing an insn, operand number N will be substituted at
     this point.  When matching an insn, it matches if the body of the
     insn is a `parallel' expression with at least as many elements as
     the vector of SUBPAT expressions in the `match_parallel', if each
     SUBPAT matches the corresponding element of the `parallel', *and*
     the function PREDICATE returns nonzero on the `parallel' that is
     the body of the insn.  It is the responsibility of the predicate
     to validate elements of the `parallel' beyond those listed in the

     A typical use of `match_parallel' is to match load and store
     multiple expressions, which can contains a variable number of
     elements in a `parallel'.  For example,

          (define_insn ""
            [(match_parallel 0 "load_multiple_operation"
                             [(set (match_operand:SI 1 "gpc_reg_operand" "=r")
                                   (match_operand:SI 2 "memory_operand" "m"))
                              (use (reg:SI 179))
                              (clobber (reg:SI 179))])]
            "loadm 0,0,%1,%2")

     This example comes from `a29k.md'.  The function
     `load_multiple_operations' is defined in `a29k.c' and checks that
     subsequent elements in the `parallel' are the same as the `set' in
     the pattern, except that they are referencing subsequent registers
     and memory locations.

     An insn that matches this pattern might look like:

          (parallel [(set (reg:SI 20) (mem:SI (reg:SI 100)))
                     (use (reg:SI 179))
                     (clobber (reg:SI 179))
                     (set (reg:SI 21) (mem:SI (plus:SI (reg:SI 100) (const_int 4))))
                     (set (reg:SI 22) (mem:SI (plus:SI (reg:SI 100) (const_int 8))))])

`(match_par_dup N [SUBPAT...])'
     Like `match_op_dup', but for `match_parallel' instead of

`(address (match_operand:M N "address_operand" ""))'
     This complex of expressions is a placeholder for an operand number
     N in a "load address" instruction: an operand which specifies a
     memory location in the usual way, but for which the actual operand
     value used is the address of the location, not the contents of the

     `address' expressions never appear in RTL code, only in machine
     descriptions.  And they are used only in machine descriptions that
     do not use the operand constraint feature.  When operand
     constraints are in use, the letter `p' in the constraint serves
     this purpose.

     M is the machine mode of the *memory location being addressed*,
     not the machine mode of the address itself.  That mode is always
     the same on a given target machine (it is `Pmode', which normally
     is `SImode'), so there is no point in mentioning it; thus, no
     machine mode is written in the `address' expression.  If some day
     support is added for machines in which addresses of different
     kinds of objects appear differently or are used differently (such
     as the PDP-10), different formats would perhaps need different
     machine modes and these modes might be written in the `address'

File: gcc.info,  Node: Output Template,  Next: Output Statement,  Prev: RTL Template,  Up: Machine Desc

Output Templates and Operand Substitution

   The "output template" is a string which specifies how to output the
assembler code for an instruction pattern.  Most of the template is a
fixed string which is output literally.  The character `%' is used to
specify where to substitute an operand; it can also be used to identify
places where different variants of the assembler require different

   In the simplest case, a `%' followed by a digit N says to output
operand N at that point in the string.

   `%' followed by a letter and a digit says to output an operand in an
alternate fashion.  Four letters have standard, built-in meanings
described below.  The machine description macro `PRINT_OPERAND' can
define additional letters with nonstandard meanings.

   `%cDIGIT' can be used to substitute an operand that is a constant
value without the syntax that normally indicates an immediate operand.

   `%nDIGIT' is like `%cDIGIT' except that the value of the constant is
negated before printing.

   `%aDIGIT' can be used to substitute an operand as if it were a
memory reference, with the actual operand treated as the address.  This
may be useful when outputting a "load address" instruction, because
often the assembler syntax for such an instruction requires you to
write the operand as if it were a memory reference.

   `%lDIGIT' is used to substitute a `label_ref' into a jump

   `%=' outputs a number which is unique to each instruction in the
entire compilation.  This is useful for making local labels to be
referred to more than once in a single template that generates multiple
assembler instructions.

   `%' followed by a punctuation character specifies a substitution that
does not use an operand.  Only one case is standard: `%%' outputs a `%'
into the assembler code.  Other nonstandard cases can be defined in the
`PRINT_OPERAND' macro.  You must also define which punctuation
characters are valid with the `PRINT_OPERAND_PUNCT_VALID_P' macro.

   The template may generate multiple assembler instructions.  Write
the text for the instructions, with `\;' between them.

   When the RTL contains two operands which are required by constraint
to match each other, the output template must refer only to the
lower-numbered operand. Matching operands are not always identical, and
the rest of the compiler arranges to put the proper RTL expression for
printing into the lower-numbered operand.

   One use of nonstandard letters or punctuation following `%' is to
distinguish between different assembler languages for the same machine;
for example, Motorola syntax versus MIT syntax for the 68000.  Motorola
syntax requires periods in most opcode names, while MIT syntax does
not.  For example, the opcode `movel' in MIT syntax is `move.l' in
Motorola syntax.  The same file of patterns is used for both kinds of
output syntax, but the character sequence `%.' is used in each place
where Motorola syntax wants a period.  The `PRINT_OPERAND' macro for
Motorola syntax defines the sequence to output a period; the macro for
MIT syntax defines it to do nothing.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Output Statement,  Next: Constraints,  Prev: Output Template,  Up: Machine Desc

C Statements for Generating Assembler Output

   Often a single fixed template string cannot produce correct and
efficient assembler code for all the cases that are recognized by a
single instruction pattern.  For example, the opcodes may depend on the
kinds of operands; or some unfortunate combinations of operands may
require extra machine instructions.

   If the output control string starts with a `@', then it is actually
a series of templates, each on a separate line.  (Blank lines and
leading spaces and tabs are ignored.)  The templates correspond to the
pattern's constraint alternatives (*note Multi-Alternative::.).  For
example, if a target machine has a two-address add instruction `addr'
to add into a register and another `addm' to add a register to memory,
you might write this pattern:

     (define_insn "addsi3"
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=r,m")
             (plus:SI (match_operand:SI 1 "general_operand" "0,0")
                      (match_operand:SI 2 "general_operand" "g,r")))]
        addr %2,%0
        addm %2,%0")

   If the output control string starts with a `*', then it is not an
output template but rather a piece of C program that should compute a
template.  It should execute a `return' statement to return the
template-string you want.  Most such templates use C string literals,
which require doublequote characters to delimit them.  To include these
doublequote characters in the string, prefix each one with `\'.

   The operands may be found in the array `operands', whose C data type
is `rtx []'.

   It is very common to select different ways of generating assembler
code based on whether an immediate operand is within a certain range. 
Be careful when doing this, because the result of `INTVAL' is an
integer on the host machine.  If the host machine has more bits in an
`int' than the target machine has in the mode in which the constant
will be used, then some of the bits you get from `INTVAL' will be
superfluous.  For proper results, you must carefully disregard the
values of those bits.

   It is possible to output an assembler instruction and then go on to
output or compute more of them, using the subroutine `output_asm_insn'.
 This receives two arguments: a template-string and a vector of
operands.  The vector may be `operands', or it may be another array of
`rtx' that you declare locally and initialize yourself.

   When an insn pattern has multiple alternatives in its constraints,
often the appearance of the assembler code is determined mostly by
which alternative was matched.  When this is so, the C code can test
the variable `which_alternative', which is the ordinal number of the
alternative that was actually satisfied (0 for the first, 1 for the
second alternative, etc.).

   For example, suppose there are two opcodes for storing zero, `clrreg'
for registers and `clrmem' for memory locations.  Here is how a pattern
could use `which_alternative' to choose between them:

     (define_insn ""
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=r,m")
             (const_int 0))]
       return (which_alternative == 0
               ? \"clrreg %0\" : \"clrmem %0\");

   The example above, where the assembler code to generate was *solely*
determined by the alternative, could also have been specified as
follows, having the output control string start with a `@':

     (define_insn ""
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=r,m")
             (const_int 0))]
        clrreg %0
        clrmem %0")

File: gcc.info,  Node: Constraints,  Next: Standard Names,  Prev: Output Statement,  Up: Machine Desc

Operand Constraints

   Each `match_operand' in an instruction pattern can specify a
constraint for the type of operands allowed.  Constraints can say
whether an operand may be in a register, and which kinds of register;
whether the operand can be a memory reference, and which kinds of
address; whether the operand may be an immediate constant, and which
possible values it may have.  Constraints can also require two operands
to match.

* Menu:

* Simple Constraints::  Basic use of constraints.
* Multi-Alternative::   When an insn has two alternative constraint-patterns.
* Class Preferences::   Constraints guide which hard register to put things in.
* Modifiers::           More precise control over effects of constraints.
* No Constraints::      Describing a clean machine without constraints.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Simple Constraints,  Next: Multi-Alternative,  Prev: Constraints,  Up: Constraints

Simple Constraints

   The simplest kind of constraint is a string full of letters, each of
which describes one kind of operand that is permitted.  Here are the
letters that are allowed:

     A memory operand is allowed, with any kind of address that the
     machine supports in general.

     A memory operand is allowed, but only if the address is
     "offsettable".  This means that adding a small integer (actually,
     the width in bytes of the operand, as determined by its machine
     mode) may be added to the address and the result is also a valid
     memory address.

     For example, an address which is constant is offsettable; so is an
     address that is the sum of a register and a constant (as long as a
     slightly larger constant is also within the range of
     address-offsets supported by the machine); but an autoincrement or
     autodecrement address is not offsettable.  More complicated
     indirect/indexed addresses may or may not be offsettable depending
     on the other addressing modes that the machine supports.

     Note that in an output operand which can be matched by another
     operand, the constraint letter `o' is valid only when accompanied
     by both `<' (if the target machine has predecrement addressing)
     and `>' (if the target machine has preincrement addressing).

     A memory operand that is not offsettable.  In other words,
     anything that would fit the `m' constraint but not the `o'

     A memory operand with autodecrement addressing (either
     predecrement or postdecrement) is allowed.

     A memory operand with autoincrement addressing (either
     preincrement or postincrement) is allowed.

     A register operand is allowed provided that it is in a general

`d', `a', `f', ...
     Other letters can be defined in machine-dependent fashion to stand
     for particular classes of registers.  `d', `a' and `f' are defined
     on the 68000/68020 to stand for data, address and floating point

     An immediate integer operand (one with constant value) is allowed.
     This includes symbolic constants whose values will be known only at
     assembly time.

     An immediate integer operand with a known numeric value is allowed.
     Many systems cannot support assembly-time constants for operands
     less than a word wide.  Constraints for these operands should use
     `n' rather than `i'.

`I', `J', `K', ... `P'
     Other letters in the range `I' through `P' may be defined in a
     machine-dependent fashion to permit immediate integer operands with
     explicit integer values in specified ranges.  For example, on the
     68000, `I' is defined to stand for the range of values 1 to 8.
     This is the range permitted as a shift count in the shift

     An immediate floating operand (expression code `const_double') is
     allowed, but only if the target floating point format is the same
     as that of the host machine (on which the compiler is running).

     An immediate floating operand (expression code `const_double') is

`G', `H'
     `G' and `H' may be defined in a machine-dependent fashion to
     permit immediate floating operands in particular ranges of values.

     An immediate integer operand whose value is not an explicit
     integer is allowed.

     This might appear strange; if an insn allows a constant operand
     with a value not known at compile time, it certainly must allow
     any known value.  So why use `s' instead of `i'?  Sometimes it
     allows better code to be generated.

     For example, on the 68000 in a fullword instruction it is possible
     to use an immediate operand; but if the immediate value is between
     -128 and 127, better code results from loading the value into a
     register and using the register.  This is because the load into
     the register can be done with a `moveq' instruction.  We arrange
     for this to happen by defining the letter `K' to mean "any integer
     outside the range -128 to 127", and then specifying `Ks' in the
     operand constraints.

     Any register, memory or immediate integer operand is allowed,
     except for registers that are not general registers.

     Any operand whatsoever is allowed, even if it does not satisfy
     `general_operand'.  This is normally used in the constraint of a
     `match_scratch' when certain alternatives will not actually
     require a scratch register.

`0', `1', `2', ... `9'
     An operand that matches the specified operand number is allowed. 
     If a digit is used together with letters within the same
     alternative, the digit should come last.

     This is called a "matching constraint" and what it really means is
     that the assembler has only a single operand that fills two roles
     considered separate in the RTL insn.  For example, an add insn has
     two input operands and one output operand in the RTL, but on most
     CISC machines an add instruction really has only two operands, one
     of them an input-output operand:

          addl #35,r12

     Matching constraints are used in these circumstances. More
     precisely, the two operands that match must include one input-only
     operand and one output-only operand.  Moreover, the digit must be a
     smaller number than the number of the operand that uses it in the

     For operands to match in a particular case usually means that they
     are identical-looking RTL expressions.  But in a few special cases
     specific kinds of dissimilarity are allowed.  For example, `*x' as
     an input operand will match `*x++' as an output operand. For
     proper results in such cases, the output template should always
     use the output-operand's number when printing the operand.

     An operand that is a valid memory address is allowed.  This is for
     "load address" and "push address" instructions.

     `p' in the constraint must be accompanied by `address_operand' as
     the predicate in the `match_operand'.  This predicate interprets
     the mode specified in the `match_operand' as the mode of the memory
     reference for which the address would be valid.

`Q', `R', `S', ... `U'
     Letters in the range `Q' through `U' may be defined in a
     machine-dependent fashion to stand for arbitrary operand types.
     The machine description macro `EXTRA_CONSTRAINT' is passed the
     operand as its first argument and the constraint letter as its
     second operand.

     A typical use for this would be to distinguish certain types of
     memory references that affect other insn operands.

     Do not define these constraint letters to accept register
     references (`reg'); the reload pass does not expect this and would
     not handle it properly.

   In order to have valid assembler code, each operand must satisfy its
constraint.  But a failure to do so does not prevent the pattern from
applying to an insn.  Instead, it directs the compiler to modify the
code so that the constraint will be satisfied.  Usually this is done by
copying an operand into a register.

   Contrast, therefore, the two instruction patterns that follow:

     (define_insn ""
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=r")
             (plus:SI (match_dup 0)
                      (match_operand:SI 1 "general_operand" "r")))]

which has two operands, one of which must appear in two places, and

     (define_insn ""
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=r")
             (plus:SI (match_operand:SI 1 "general_operand" "0")
                      (match_operand:SI 2 "general_operand" "r")))]

which has three operands, two of which are required by a constraint to
be identical.  If we are considering an insn of the form

     (insn N PREV NEXT
       (set (reg:SI 3)
            (plus:SI (reg:SI 6) (reg:SI 109)))

the first pattern would not apply at all, because this insn does not
contain two identical subexpressions in the right place.  The pattern
would say, "That does not look like an add instruction; try other
patterns." The second pattern would say, "Yes, that's an add
instruction, but there is something wrong with it."  It would direct
the reload pass of the compiler to generate additional insns to make
the constraint true.  The results might look like this:

     (insn N2 PREV N
       (set (reg:SI 3) (reg:SI 6))
     (insn N N2 NEXT
       (set (reg:SI 3)
            (plus:SI (reg:SI 3) (reg:SI 109)))

   It is up to you to make sure that each operand, in each pattern, has
constraints that can handle any RTL expression that could be present for
that operand.  (When multiple alternatives are in use, each pattern
must, for each possible combination of operand expressions, have at
least one alternative which can handle that combination of operands.) 
The constraints don't need to *allow* any possible operand--when this is
the case, they do not constrain--but they must at least point the way to
reloading any possible operand so that it will fit.

   * If the constraint accepts whatever operands the predicate permits,
     there is no problem: reloading is never necessary for this operand.

     For example, an operand whose constraints permit everything except
     registers is safe provided its predicate rejects registers.

     An operand whose predicate accepts only constant values is safe
     provided its constraints include the letter `i'.  If any possible
     constant value is accepted, then nothing less than `i' will do; if
     the predicate is more selective, then the constraints may also be
     more selective.

   * Any operand expression can be reloaded by copying it into a
     register. So if an operand's constraints allow some kind of
     register, it is certain to be safe.  It need not permit all
     classes of registers; the compiler knows how to copy a register
     into another register of the proper class in order to make an
     instruction valid.

   * A nonoffsettable memory reference can be reloaded by copying the
     address into a register.  So if the constraint uses the letter
     `o', all memory references are taken care of.

   * A constant operand can be reloaded by allocating space in memory to
     hold it as preinitialized data.  Then the memory reference can be
     used in place of the constant.  So if the constraint uses the
     letters `o' or `m', constant operands are not a problem.

   * If the constraint permits a constant and a pseudo register used in
     an insn was not allocated to a hard register and is equivalent to
     a constant, the register will be replaced with the constant.  If
     the predicate does not permit a constant and the insn is
     re-recognized for some reason, the compiler will crash.  Thus the
     predicate must always recognize any objects allowed by the

   If the operand's predicate can recognize registers, but the
constraint does not permit them, it can make the compiler crash.  When
this operand happens to be a register, the reload pass will be stymied,
because it does not know how to copy a register temporarily into memory.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Multi-Alternative,  Next: Class Preferences,  Prev: Simple Constraints,  Up: Constraints

Multiple Alternative Constraints

   Sometimes a single instruction has multiple alternative sets of
possible operands.  For example, on the 68000, a logical-or instruction
can combine register or an immediate value into memory, or it can
combine any kind of operand into a register; but it cannot combine one
memory location into another.

   These constraints are represented as multiple alternatives.  An
alternative can be described by a series of letters for each operand. 
The overall constraint for an operand is made from the letters for this
operand from the first alternative, a comma, the letters for this
operand from the second alternative, a comma, and so on until the last
alternative. Here is how it is done for fullword logical-or on the

     (define_insn "iorsi3"
       [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=m,d")
             (ior:SI (match_operand:SI 1 "general_operand" "%0,0")
                     (match_operand:SI 2 "general_operand" "dKs,dmKs")))]

   The first alternative has `m' (memory) for operand 0, `0' for
operand 1 (meaning it must match operand 0), and `dKs' for operand 2. 
The second alternative has `d' (data register) for operand 0, `0' for
operand 1, and `dmKs' for operand 2.  The `=' and `%' in the
constraints apply to all the alternatives; their meaning is explained
in the next section (*note Class Preferences::.).

   If all the operands fit any one alternative, the instruction is
valid. Otherwise, for each alternative, the compiler counts how many
instructions must be added to copy the operands so that that
alternative applies. The alternative requiring the least copying is
chosen.  If two alternatives need the same amount of copying, the one
that comes first is chosen. These choices can be altered with the `?'
and `!' characters:

     Disparage slightly the alternative that the `?' appears in, as a
     choice when no alternative applies exactly.  The compiler regards
     this alternative as one unit more costly for each `?' that appears
     in it.

     Disparage severely the alternative that the `!' appears in. This
     alternative can still be used if it fits without reloading, but if
     reloading is needed, some other alternative will be used.

   When an insn pattern has multiple alternatives in its constraints,
often the appearance of the assembler code is determined mostly by which
alternative was matched.  When this is so, the C code for writing the
assembler code can use the variable `which_alternative', which is the
ordinal number of the alternative that was actually satisfied (0 for
the first, 1 for the second alternative, etc.).  *Note Output

File: gcc.info,  Node: Class Preferences,  Next: Modifiers,  Prev: Multi-Alternative,  Up: Constraints

Register Class Preferences

   The operand constraints have another function: they enable the
compiler to decide which kind of hardware register a pseudo register is
best allocated to.  The compiler examines the constraints that apply to
the insns that use the pseudo register, looking for the
machine-dependent letters such as `d' and `a' that specify classes of
registers. The pseudo register is put in whichever class gets the most
"votes". The constraint letters `g' and `r' also vote: they vote in
favor of a general register.  The machine description says which
registers are considered general.

   Of course, on some machines all registers are equivalent, and no
register classes are defined.  Then none of this complexity is relevant.

File: gcc.info,  Node: Modifiers,  Next: No Constraints,  Prev: Class Preferences,  Up: Constraints

Constraint Modifier Characters

     Means that this operand is write-only for this instruction: the
     previous value is discarded and replaced by output data.

     Means that this operand is both read and written by the

     When the compiler fixes up the operands to satisfy the constraints,
     it needs to know which operands are inputs to the instruction and
     which are outputs from it.  `=' identifies an output; `+'
     identifies an operand that is both input and output; all other
     operands are assumed to be input only.

     Means (in a particular alternative) that this operand is written
     before the instruction is finished using the input operands.
     Therefore, this operand may not lie in a register that is used as
     an input operand or as part of any memory address.

     `&' applies only to the alternative in which it is written.  In
     constraints with multiple alternatives, sometimes one alternative
     requires `&' while others do not.  See, for example, the `movdf'
     insn of the 68000.

     `&' does not obviate the need to write `='.

     Declares the instruction to be commutative for this operand and the
     following operand.  This means that the compiler may interchange
     the two operands if that is the cheapest way to make all operands
     fit the constraints.  This is often used in patterns for addition
     instructions that really have only two operands: the result must
     go in one of the arguments.  Here for example, is how the 68000
     halfword-add instruction is defined:

          (define_insn "addhi3"
            [(set (match_operand:HI 0 "general_operand" "=m,r")
               (plus:HI (match_operand:HI 1 "general_operand" "%0,0")
                        (match_operand:HI 2 "general_operand" "di,g")))]

     Says that all following characters, up to the next comma, are to be
     ignored as a constraint.  They are significant only for choosing
     register preferences.

     Says that the following character should be ignored when choosing
     register preferences.  `*' has no effect on the meaning of the
     constraint as a constraint, and no effect on reloading.

     Here is an example: the 68000 has an instruction to sign-extend a
     halfword in a data register, and can also sign-extend a value by
     copying it into an address register.  While either kind of
     register is acceptable, the constraints on an address-register
     destination are less strict, so it is best if register allocation
     makes an address register its goal.  Therefore, `*' is used so
     that the `d' constraint letter (for data register) is ignored when
     computing register preferences.

          (define_insn "extendhisi2"
            [(set (match_operand:SI 0 "general_operand" "=*d,a")
                   (match_operand:HI 1 "general_operand" "0,g")))]

File: gcc.info,  Node: No Constraints,  Prev: Modifiers,  Up: Constraints

Not Using Constraints

   Some machines are so clean that operand constraints are not
required.  For example, on the Vax, an operand valid in one context is
valid in any other context.  On such a machine, every operand
constraint would be `g', excepting only operands of "load address"
instructions which are written as if they referred to a memory
location's contents but actual refer to its address.  They would have
constraint `p'.

   For such machines, instead of writing `g' and `p' for all the
constraints, you can choose to write a description with empty
constraints. Then you write `""' for the constraint in every
`match_operand'. Address operands are identified by writing an
`address' expression around the `match_operand', not by their

   When the machine description has just empty constraints, certain
parts of compilation are skipped, making the compiler faster.  However,
few machines actually do not need constraints; all machine descriptions
now in existence use constraints.