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Re: NON FPU cpus - way to go

To: Jun Sun <>
Subject: Re: NON FPU cpus - way to go
From: Joe deBlaquiere <>
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001 14:43:52 -0600
Cc: Alan Cox <>, "Maciej W. Rozycki" <>, Florian Lohoff <>,,
Organization: Red Hat, Inc.
References: <> <>
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux 2.2.16-22 i686; en-US; m18) Gecko/20001107 Netscape6/6.0

Jun Sun wrote:

Alan Cox wrote:

 The i386 way seems reasonable, IMHO.  Have a configure option to enable
an FPU emulator.  Panic upon boot if no FP hardware is available and no
emulator is compiled in.

Its an interesting question whether it belongs in the kernel or libc.
Discuss ;)

I favor the libc approach as it is faster.

You can still compile in the FP emulator just 'in case'... That way you leave it up to the application as to whether to do be quick or cheap. This also ensures binary portability (well, mostly, there's always .so ABI issues and the like...)

Unfortunately I don't think glibc for MIPS can be configured with
--without-fp.  I modified a patch to get glibc 2.0.6 working for no-fp config,
but it is not a clean one.  Is anybody working on that for the latest glibc

AFAIK, 2.0.7-20 (from Jay Carlson), 2.1.95 (from SGI), 2.2, and the current CVS can all be configured for soft float.

Also we missed a trick on the x86 and I want to fix that one day, which is
to have an __fpu ELF segment so if you boot an FPU emu kernel on an fpu
box you regain 47K

Ironically for MIPS you MUST have the FPU emulater when the CPU actually has a
FPU. :-)

I'm confused here... why is this?


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