Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)


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Thursday, 12 June 2014, 15:36

quick poke @ aparapi / hsa + fft = bummer

I have a very basic radix-2 fft algorithm that implements each pass as a single loop rather than multiple loops - this allows the algorithm to be parallelised[sic] trivially because each item is calculated in isolation. I converted it to java so I could experiment and compare - although given Java has no complex type it's easier experimenting in C! The single-loop version is slower than the two-loop one which is a bit of a shame but given that the radix-2 algorithm does so little work inside the loop it isn't really surprising.

(The algorithmic efficiency / performance isn't really important right now, it's just something to experiment with)

I tried running it using lambda expressions but the overhead of the thread communications swamped it - it's about 3x slower that way. This was no surprise.

So I thought i'd try it using HSA instead; and about the only bit of that I have handy right now is aparapi-lambda. I was hoping that using HSA would demonstrate where HSA could come into it's own so I hooked it up using aparapi-lambda given that's the only compiler I could think of that I have right now. Unfortunately there is a bit of an impedance mismatch between the way Aparapi and the JVM work and the way HSA does. Aparapi just translates the Java bytecode from javac directly into hsail assembly language; no problem there. But javac intentionally does no optimisation whatsoever - and leaves all that to the JVM instead which has more knowledge which allows it to do a better job. However HSA moves the optimisation to the compiler so that the HSA finaliser can be simpler - which makes it easier to port, smaller, and more robust and reliable.

To cut that long explanation short: it runs like shit because it's generating shit code and I can't really use it as any indication of performance. Bummer. It's about 3x slower than using lambdas.

So much for trying a short-cut - looks like I have to get my hands a bit dirtier on this one.

Oh then I remembered I had the graal stuff, but I forgot how to run it. So I tried updating and after a bit of frobbing about got it to run, ... I think. This generates better code but still has overly complex array indexing arithmetic ... and it's running much much slower too (coincidentally, around another 3x slower again).

So I updated gcc from the hsa branch and got that built but trying to do something will require a bit more work. I don't want to use libOkra for this so I started poking at the ioctls required to talk to the kfd device (not sure what kfd stands for but it's the kernel module which handles the HSA interface). I managed to get some info out of it so at least it's on the right track. It's a tiny interface and most of the work is done in userland and should be straightforward but there are some details which are important to do with cache coherency that I need to find out about.

I tried getting the HSA documents which would aid this work ... but they're all over the place, one is on some shitty website called sl1deshare which has an abysmal eye-hurting in-browser viewer and wont let me download the pdfs without a third-party account which I don't have.

Oh I see, if you send the HSA foundation a message the site sends you an email with a download link anyway. How ... annoying. I wonder what spam service I just inadvertently signed up for.

Hmm, I think that might be enough for today. And that reminds me that I haven't had breakfast yet, and together with another night of poor sleep i'm just not in the mood.

Update: Ok so I had a break and got back to it. But it seems like i misunderstood the abstraction a little bit and the finalising is done at the api level before it hits the device. Well that makes complete sense of course. Duh.

Anyway I tried getting libOkra to load a BRIG generated by gcc but it just aborts, probably due to some elf issues alluded to in the hsa branch of gcc.

So I guess it's just not ready for that kind of poking yet.

Tagged hacking, hsa, java.
Saturday, 24 May 2014, 16:31

short hsa on kaveri note

I finally got around to upgrading to the latest hsa kernel and so far it seems as though hsa now continues to work after a suspend. Well i've suspended and resumed the machine once and the one of the aparapi-lambda tests continues to function with hsail.

Although this machine reboots rather fast it was just an inconvenience that pretty much put a stop to me playing around with hsa. I think there were other reasons too actually but I guess it's one less at least.

It's the 'v0.5' tag of git://people.freedesktop.org/~gabbayo/linux which I built from source rather than use the ubuntu images in Linux-HSA-Drivers-And-Images-AMD (although i grabbed the firmwares from there).


I've got 1 day left on my current bit of work, then another break, and then i'm not sure what i'm going to do. There is pretty much perpetually on-going 'bits of work' if I want it but i'm considering not continuing for various reasons (and have been for a while). Have to weigh that against trying to find some interesting work though. Ho hum.

Tagged hsa.
Monday, 17 March 2014, 19:40

sumatra, graal, etc.

I didn't really wanna get stuck building stuff all day but that seems to have happened.

Sumatra uses auto* so it built easily no problem. Bummer there's no javafx but hopefully that isn't far off.

graal is a bit of a pain because it uses a completely custom build/update/everything mega-tool written in a single 4KLOC piece of python. Ok when it works but a meaningless backtrace if it doesn't. Well it is early alpha software I guess. Still ... why?

Anyway ... I tried building against 'make install' from sumatra but that doesn't work, you need to point your JAVA_HOME at the Sumatra tree as the docs tell you to. My mistake there.

So it turns out getting the hsail tools to build had some point after-all. The hsailasm downloaded by the "build" tool (in lib/okra-1.8-with-sim.jar) wont work against the libelf 0.x included in slackware (might be easier just building libelf 1.x). So I added the path to the hsailasm I built myself ... and ...

 export PATH=/home/notzed/hsa/HSAIL-Instruction-Set-Simulator/build/HSAIL-Tools:$PATH
 ./mx.sh  --vm server unittest -XX:+TraceGPUInteraction \
   -XX:+GPUOffload -G:Log=CodeGen hsail.test.IntAddTest
[HSAIL] library is libokra_x86_64.so
[HSAIL] using _OKRA_SIM_LIB_PATH_=/tmp/okraresource.dir_7081062365578722856/libokra_x86_64.so
[GPU] registered initialization of Okra (total initialized: 1)
JUnit version 4.8
.[thread:1] scope: 
  [thread:1] scope: GraalCompiler
    [thread:1] scope: GraalCompiler.CodeGen
    Nothing to do here
    Nothing to do here
    Nothing to do here
    version 0:95: $full : $large;
// static method HotSpotMethod
kernel &run (
        align 8 kernarg_u64 %_arg0,
        align 8 kernarg_u64 %_arg1,
        align 8 kernarg_u64 %_arg2
        ) {
        ld_kernarg_u64  $d0, [%_arg0];
        ld_kernarg_u64  $d1, [%_arg1];
        ld_kernarg_u64  $d2, [%_arg2];
        workitemabsid_u32 $s0, 0;
        cmp_eq_b1_u64 $c0, $d0, 0; // null test 
        cbr $c0, @L1;
        ld_global_s32 $s1, [$d0 + 12];
        cmp_ge_b1_u32 $c0, $s0, $s1;
        cbr $c0, @L12;
        cmp_eq_b1_u64 $c0, $d2, 0; // null test 
        cbr $c0, @L4;
        ld_global_s32 $s1, [$d2 + 12];
        cmp_ge_b1_u32 $c0, $s0, $s1;
        cbr $c0, @L11;
        cmp_eq_b1_u64 $c0, $d1, 0; // null test 
        cbr $c0, @L7;
        ld_global_s32 $s1, [$d1 + 12];
        cmp_ge_b1_u32 $c0, $s0, $s1;
        cbr $c0, @L10;
        cvt_s64_s32 $d3, $s0;
        mul_s64 $d3, $d3, 4;
        add_u64 $d1, $d1, $d3;
        ld_global_s32 $s1, [$d1 + 16];
        cvt_s64_s32 $d1, $s0;
        mul_s64 $d1, $d1, 4;
        add_u64 $d2, $d2, $d1;
        ld_global_s32 $s2, [$d2 + 16];
        add_s32 $s2, $s2, $s1;
        cvt_s64_s32 $d1, $s0;
        mul_s64 $d1, $d1, 4;
        add_u64 $d0, $d0, $d1;
        st_global_s32 $s2, [$d0 + 16];
        mov_b32 $s0, -7691;
        mov_b32 $s0, -6411;
        brn @L13;
        mov_b32 $s0, -5403;
        brn @L13;
        mov_b32 $s0, -4875;
        brn @L13;
        mov_b32 $s0, -8219;
        brn @L13;
        mov_b32 $s0, -6939;
        brn @L13;

[HSAIL] heap=0x00007f47a8017a40
[HSAIL] base=0x95400000, capacity=108527616
External method:com.oracle.graal.compiler.hsail.test.IntAddTest.run([I[I[II)V
installCode0: ExternalCompilationResult
[HSAIL] sig:([I[I[II)V  args length=3, _parameter_count=4
[HSAIL] static method
[HSAIL] HSAILKernelArguments::do_array, _index=0, 0xdd563828, is a [I
[HSAIL] HSAILKernelArguments::do_array, _index=1, 0xdd581718, is a [I
[HSAIL] HSAILKernelArguments::do_array, _index=2, 0xdd581778, is a [I
[HSAIL] HSAILKernelArguments::not pushing trailing int

Time: 0.213

OK (1 test)

Yay? I think?

Maybe not ... it seems that it's only using the simulator. I tried using LD_LIBRARY_PATH and -Djava.library.path to redirect to the libokra from the Okra-Interface-to-HSA-Device library but that just hangs after the "base=0x95..." line after dumping the hsail. strace isn't showing anything obvious so i'm not sure what's going on. Might've hit some ubuntu compatibility issue at last or just a mismatch in versions of libokra.

On the other hand ... it was noticeable that something was happening with the gpu as the mouse started to judder, yet a simple ctrl-c killed it cleanly. Just that alone once it makes it into OpenCL will be worth it's weight in cocky shit rather than just hard locking X as is does with catalyst.

Having just typed that ... one test too many and it decides to crash into an unkillable process and do weird stuff (and not long after I had to reboot the system). But at least that is to be expected for alpha software and i've been pretty surprised by the overall system stability all things considered.

I think next time I'll just have a closer look at aparapi because at least I have that working with the APU and i'm a bit sick of compiling other peoples code and their strange build systems. Sumatra and graal are very large and complex projects and a bit more involved than I'm really interested in right now. I haven't used aparapi before anyway so I should have a look.

If the slackware vs ubuntu thing becomes too much of a hassle I might just go and buy another hdd and dual-boot; I already have to multi-boot to switch between opencl+accelerated javafx vs apu.

Update: Actually there may be something more to it. I just tried creating my own aparapi thing and it crashed in the same way so maybe i was missing some env variable or it was due to a suspend/resume cycle.

So I just had another go at getting the graal test running on hsail and I think it worked:

 export JAVA_HOME=/home/notzed/hsa/sumatra-dev/build/linux-x86_64-normal-server-release/images/j2sdk-image
 export PATH=${JAVA_HOME}/bin:${PATH}
 export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/notzed/hsa/Okra-Interface-to-HSA-Device/okra/dist/bin
 ./mx.sh  --vm server unittest  -XX:+TraceGPUInteraction -XX:+GPUOffload -G:Log=CodeGen hsail.test.IntAddTest

[HSAIL] library is libokra_x86_64.so
[GPU] registered initialization of Okra (total initialized: 1)
JUnit version 4.8


Time: 0.198

OK (1 test)

Still, i'm not sure what to do with it yet ...

I was going to have a play today but I just got the word on work starting again (I can probably push it out to Monday) so I might just go to the pub or just for a ride - way too nice to be inside getting monitor burn. I foolishly decided to walk into the city yesterday for lunch with a mate I haven't seen for years (and did a few pubs on the way home - i was in no rush!) but just ended up with a nice big blister and sore feet for my troubles. It's about a 45 minute walk into the city but I don't do much walking.

I want see if anything interesting comes out of the Sony's GDC talk first though (the vr one? - yes the VR one, it's just started).

And ... done. Interesting, but still early days. Even if they release a model for the public at a mass-market price it's still going to have to be a long term project. Likely the first 5-10 years will just be experimentation and getting the technology the point where it is good and cheap enough.

Update: Yep, i'm pretty sure it's just a problem with suspend/resume. I just tried running it after a resume and it panicked the kernel.

Tagged hacking, hsa, java, opencl.
Monday, 17 March 2014, 15:30

Building the hsail tools.

I had a lot more trouble than this post suggests getting this stuff to compile which is probably why i sound pissed off (hint: i am, actually pro tip: i often am), but this summarises the results.

I started with the instructions in README.hsa from the hsa branch of gcc. See the patches below though.

I installed libelf from slackware 14.1 but had to build libdwarf manually. I got libdwarf-20140208 from the libdwarf home page. I actually created a SlackBuild for it but i'm uncertain about providing it to slackbuilds.org right now (mostly because it seems a bit too niche).

Then this should probably work:

  mkdir hsa
  cd hsa
  git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/HSAFoundation/HSAIL-Instruction-Set-Simulator.git
  git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/HSAFoundation/HSAIL-Tools
  cd HSAIL-Instruction-Set-Simulator/src/
  ln -s ../../HSAIL-Tools
  cd ..
  mkdir build
  cd build
  cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug ..
  make -j3 _DBG=1 VERBOSE=1

Actually I originally built it from the Okra-Interface-to-HSAIL-Simulator thing, but that checks out both of these tools as part of it's android build process together with the llvm compiler this does. Ugh. And then proceeds to compile whilst hiding the details of what it's actually doing and simultaneously ignoring-all-fatal-errors-along-the-way through the wonders of an ant script. Actually I could add more but I might offend for no purpose - afterall I did get it compiled in the end. I'm just a bit more impatient than I once was :)


It doesn't look for libelf.h anywhere other than /usr/include so I had to add this to HSAIL-Instruction-Set-Simulator. Of course if you have lib* in /usr/local you have to change it to that instead. Sigh. I thought this sort of auto-discovery was a solved problem.

diff --git a/CMakeLists.txt b/CMakeLists.txt
index 083e9c6..c86192c 100644
--- a/CMakeLists.txt
+++ b/CMakeLists.txt
 set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "-I/usr/include/libdwarf ${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS}")
+set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "-I/usr/include/libelf ${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS}")
 # add a target to generate API documentation with Doxygen

And because I used a newer version of libdwarf than ubuntu uses it has a world-shattering fatal error causing difference in one of the apis.

Apply this to HSAIL-Tools.

diff --git a/libHSAIL/libBRIGdwarf/BrigDwarfGenerator.cpp b/libHSAIL/libBRIGdwarf/BrigDwarfGenerator.cpp
index 7e2d28d..fe2bc51 100644
--- a/libHSAIL/libBRIGdwarf/BrigDwarfGenerator.cpp
+++ b/libHSAIL/libBRIGdwarf/BrigDwarfGenerator.cpp
@@ -261,7 +261,7 @@ public:
     bool storeInBrig( HSAIL_ASM::BrigContainer & c ) const;
-    int DwarfProducerCallback2( char * name,
+    int DwarfProducerCallback2( const char * name,
                                 int    size,
                                 Dwarf_Unsigned type,
                                 Dwarf_Unsigned flags,
@@ -459,7 +459,7 @@ bool BrigDwarfGenerator_impl::generate( HSAIL_ASM::BrigContainer & c )
 // *sec_name_index is an OUT parameter, a pointer to the shared string table
 // (.shrstrtab) offset for thte name of the section
-static int DwarfProducerCallbackFunc( char * name,
+static int DwarfProducerCallbackFunc( const char * name,
                                       int    size,
                                       Dwarf_Unsigned type,
                                       Dwarf_Unsigned flags,
@@ -476,7 +476,7 @@ static int DwarfProducerCallbackFunc( char * name,
-BrigDwarfGenerator_impl::DwarfProducerCallback2( char * name,
+BrigDwarfGenerator_impl::DwarfProducerCallback2( const char * name,
                                                  int    size,
                                                  Dwarf_Unsigned type,
                                                  Dwarf_Unsigned flags,

I had to use the 'git registry' to disable coloured diffs so I could just see what I was even doing here.

  git config --global color.ui false

Whomever thought that sort of bloat was a good idea in such a tool ... well I would only offend if i called him or her a fuckwit wouldn't i?

Tagged hsa, rants.
Monday, 17 March 2014, 13:35

hsa, gcc hsail + brig

I didn't spend much time on it yesterday but most of it was just reading up on hsa. There's only a few slides plus a so-shittily-typeset-is-has-to-be-microsoft-word reference manual on hsail and brig. As a bonus it includes some rather poor typeface choices (too stout - the trifecta of short, thick, and fat), colours, and tables to complement the word-wrap that all say to me 'not for printing' (not that I was going to). The link to the amd IOMMUv2 spec is broken - not that i'm likely to need that. Bit of a bummer as amd docs are usually formatted pretty well and they seem to be the primary driver at this point. In general the documentation 'needs work' (seems to be my catchphrase of 2014 so far) although new docs and tools seem to be appearing in drips and drops over time.

I'd already skimmed some of it and had a general understanding but I picked up a few more details.

The queuing mechanism looks pretty nice - very simple yet able to do everything one needs in a multi-core system. I had been under the impression that the queue system had / needed some hardware support on the CPU too but looking at it but it doesn't look necessary so was just a misunderstanding. Or ... maybe it's not since any work signalling mechanism would ideally avoid kernel interactions and/or busy waiting - either or both of which would be required for a purely software implementation. But maybe it's simpler than that

To be honest i would have preferred that hsail was a proper assembly language rather than wrapping the meta-data in a pseudo-C++ syntax. And brig seems a bit unnecessarily on the bulky side for what is essentially a machine code encoding. At the end of the day neither are deal breakers.

The language itself is kind of interesting. Again I thought it was a slightly higher level virtual-processor that it is, something like llvm's intermediate representation or PTX. But it has a fixed maximum number of registers and the register assignment and optimisation occurs at the compiler stage and not in the finaliser - looks a lot more like say DEX than IR or Java bytecode. This makes a lot of sense unless you have a wildly different programming model. Seems a pretty reasonable and pragmatic approach to a universal machine code for modern processors.

The programming and queuing model looks like something that should fit into Epiphany reasonably well. And something that can be used to implement OpenCL with little work (beyond the compiler, but there's few of those already).


I managed to get gcc checked out to build. The hsa tools page just points to the subversion branch with no context at all ... but after literally 8 hours trying to check it out and only being part-way through the fucking C++ standard library test suite, I gave up (I detest git but I'm no fan of subversion by any stretch of the imagination). I had to resort to the git mirror. Unfortunately gcc takes a lot longer to build than last time I had to despite having faster hardware, but that's 'progress' for you (no it's not).

I'm not sure how useful it is to me as it just generates brig directly (actually a mash up of elf with amd64 + brig) and there's no binutils to play with hsail that I can tell. But i'll document the steps I used here.

  git clone --depth 1 -b hsa git://gcc.gnu.org/git/gcc.git

  mkdir build
  cd build
  ../gcc/configure --disable-bootstrap --enable-languages=c,c++ --disable-multilib

Slackware 64 is only 64-bit so I had to disable multilib support.

The example from gcc/README.hsa can then be compiled using:

  cd ..
  mkdir demo
  cd demo
  cat > hsakernel.c
extern void square (int *ip, int *rp) __attribute__((hsa, noinline));
void __attribute__((hsa, noinline)) square (int *in, int *out)
  int i = *in;
  *out = i * i;
  ../build/gcc/xgcc -m32 -B../build/gcc -c hsakernel.c  -save-temps -fdump-tree-hsagen

Using -fdump-tree-hsagen outputs a dump of the raw HSAIL instructions generated.


------- After register allocation: -------

HSAIL IL for square
BB 0:
  ld_kernarg_u32 $s0, [%ip]
  ld_kernarg_u32 $s1, [%rp]
  Fall-through to BB 1

BB 1:
  ld_s32 $s2, [$s0]
  mul_s32 $s3, $s2, $s2
  st_s32 $s3, [$s1]


Went through the gcc source and found a couple of useful bits. To get the global work-id I found you can use: __builtin_omp_get_thread_num() which compiles into workitemabsid_u32 ret,0. And __builtin_omp_get_num_threads() which compiles into gridsize_u32 ret,0. Both only work on dimension 0. And that seems to be about it for work-group functions.

I'm not really sure how useful it is and unless the git mirror is out of sync there hasn't been a commit for a few months so it's hard to know it's future - but it's there anyway.

My understanding is that a reference implementation of a finaliser will be released at some point which will make BRIG a bit more interesting (writing one myself, e.g. for epiphany, is a bigger task than i'm interested in right now). I'm probably going to have more of a look at aparapi and the other java stuff for the time being but eventually get the llvm based tools built as well. But ugh ... CMake.

Tagged hacking, hsa, opencl, parallella.
Sunday, 16 March 2014, 14:30

Aparapi on HSA on Slackware on Kavaeri on ASROCK

Although i've been waiting with bated breath for HSA to arrive ... the last I heard about a month ago via the aparapi mailing list was that the drivers weren't quite ready yet. So I was content to wait patiently a bit longer. Then somehow the first I heard that the alpha became available from one of the few comments on this blog and apparently it's been out for a few weeks. I couldn't find any announcement about it?

So yesterday before I went out and this morning I followed Linux-HSA-Drivers-And-Images-AMD and SettingUpLinuxHSAMachineForAparapi trying to get something working. As i'm using a different motherboard and OS it was a little more involved although I made it more involved than it should've been by making a complete pigs breakfast out of every step along the way due to being a bit out of practice.

But after getting a working kernel built and X sorted I just ran the test example a few seconds ago:

$ ./runSquares.sh 
using source from Squares.hsail
0->0, 1->1, 2->4, 3->9, 4->16, 5->25, 6->36,
     ;7->49, 8->64, 9->81, 10->100, 11->121,
     ;12->144, 13->169, 14->196, 15->225, 16->256,
     ;17->289, 18->324, 19->361, 20->400, 21->441,
     ;22->484, 23->529, 24->576, 25->625, 26->676,
     ;27->729, 28->784, 29->841, 30->900, 31->961,
     ;32->1024, 33->1089, 34->1156, 35->1225, 36->1296,
     ;37->1369, 38->1444, 39->1521,

I'm presuming 'PASSED' means it worked.

I'm not sure how much i'll do today but i'll next look at the hsa branch of aparapi, sumatra?, and then I want to look a bit closer. I haven't been able find much detailed technical documentation yet but there is the kernel driver at least now and hopefully it's coming soon.

On Slackware

I'm using the ASROCK FM2A88X-ITX+ motherboard with Slackware64 14.1 and using the DVI and HDMI outputs in a dual-head configuration. Just getting Slackware 14.1 working on it reliably required a BIOS upgrade but i'm not sure what version it is right now.

To compile a fresh checkout of the correct kernel I tried the supplied kernel config file 3.13.0-config at first but that didn't work it just hung on the loading kernel line from elilo. After a couple of aborted attempts I managed to get a working kernel by starting with /boot/config-generic-3.10.17 as the .config file, running make oldconfig and holding down return until it finished to accept all the defaults, then using make xconfig to make sure my filesystem driver wasn't a module (which i of course forgot the first time).

Getting dual-screen X was a bit confusing - searches for xorg.conf configuration is pretty much a waste of time I think mostly because every config file is filled with non-important junk. But I finally managed to get it going even if for whatever reason it comes up in cloned mode but I can fix it manually running xrandr after i login. Because I'm not ready to make this permanent is good enough for me. As I was previously using the fglrx driver I had initially forgotten to de-blacklist the radeon kernel module but that was an easy fix.

This is how I set up the screen config.

$ xrandr --output HDMI-0 --right-of DVI-0

I'm not ready to make this my system yet because afaik OpenCL isn't available for this driver interface yet. Although the Okra stuff includes libamdhsacl64.so so presumably it isn't too far away.


I got aparapi going quite easily.

But beware, don't run '. ./env.sh' directly to start with - any error and it just closes your shell window! So test with 'sh ./env.sh' until it passes it's checks.

I used the ant that comes with netbeans and I already had AMD APP SDK 2.9 and Java 8 installed.

Not sure if it's needed but I noticed a couple of variables were blank so I set them in env.sh.

export APARAPI_JNI_HOME=${APARAPI_HOME}/com.amd.aparapi.jni
export APARAPI_JAR_HOME=${APARAPI_HOME}/com.amd.aparapi

Once env.sh was sorted it built in a few seconds and the mandelbrot demo ran in suitably impressive fashion.

Well this should all keep me busy for a while ...

Tagged hacking, hsa, java, opencl.
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