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Re: Average number of instructions per line of kernel code

To: Mohamed Bamakhrama <>
Subject: Re: Average number of instructions per line of kernel code
From: "J. Scott Kasten" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 12:29:38 -0400 (EDT)
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On Thu, 30 Aug 2007, Mohamed Bamakhrama wrote:
Hi all,
I have a question regarding the average number of assembly
instructions per line of kernel code. I know that this is a difficult
question since it depends on many factors such as the instruction set

Here's a quick answer, not the best, but quick.

I took a user space flash memory driver I'm doing at work and compiled it on my R5000 at home using gcc 4.1 and the MIPS3 abi, stopping with a .o file. I also ran the source through cpp and a couple of grep passes to strip out junk that wasn't really code. This driver may be somewhat typical of what you would run into as it has quite a few inline functions and such.

The driver.o was about 23000 bytes. Forgetting about the symboltables and just dividing by 4 to estimate instructions and dividing by about 1650 net lines of code, I got about 3.5 instructions per line of C code.

I'm guessing that ball park, you're looking at 3-5 average - 10 seems high except in sections with lots and lots of inlines.



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