T6xx Architecture

Publicly available information

ARM has been a lot more open this time with the architecture behind the T6xx. For a good overview with some slides from ARM, see this Anandtech article. T6xx is the first Mali unified architecture; unlike the Mali 200/400, the vertex and fragment shaders use the same pipelines. There are 3 separate pipelines: ALU, Load/Store, and Texture lookup (A, L, and T in the verbose output of the compiler). The Mali-600 target for the compiler (T604, T622, T624, T628) has 2 ALU's and so can excecute 2 ALU ops per cycle, and the T650 target (T658, T678) has 4 ALU's.


Data processing apparatus and method for processing a received workload in order to generate result data

Processing order with integer inputs and floating point inputs

Floating-point vector normalisation

Vector floating point argument reduction

Next-instruction-type field

Generating and resolving pixel values within a graphics processing pipeline

Number format pre-conversion instructions

Graphics processing

Embedded opcode within an intermediate value passed between instructions

Instruction format

It appears that the shader binaries are the same between the T600 and T650 targets; the only difference is in how many cycles it takes to execute the ALU instructions (T650 takes half as many due to having twice as many ALU's). The shader consists of a stream of instructions. There are 3 types of instruction words, corresponding to the three pipelines; instruction words can appear in any order. Each instruction is always started only after the previous instruction has fully completed, and like on the Mali 200 PP the pipeline is barreled so a number of threads, potentially with different shaders, are running at once (see next-instruction-type patent). Instruction words are always a multiple of 4 words (128 bits). They can be parsed by reading the type from lowest 4 bits of the first word:

3 - Texture (4 words)
5 - Load/Store (4 words)
8 - ALU (4 words)
9 - ALU (8 words)
A - ALU (12 words)
B - ALU (16 words)

The next 4 bits (bits 4-7) store the type of the next instruction (presumably for prefetch purposes), except if either the instruction is the last instruction or it's the second-to-last and the last instruction is an ALU instruction, in which case the value of 1 is used.

Comparison to Mali-200 PP

It seems like the architecture for the T6xx pipeline is based off of the Mali-200 PP pipeline. Both are barreled with a relatively deep pipeline that can execute a number of threads, possibly with different shaders/uniforms/other state at the same time. The main difference is that the single, large pipeline is broken down into 3 smaller pipelines. This simplifies the logic; the ALU pipelines don't need to know how to access memory, the Load/Store and texture pipelines don't need to access work registers or uniform registers, and only the texture pipeline needs to have logic for synchronizing threads in a group and exchanging values for computing derivatives. There are more work registers, and now there's a uniform register file, in addition to normal uniform buffers accessed through the load/store pipeline, and perhaps a Radeon-like register sharing mechanism (the compiler now reports the number of work registers and uniform registers used)


The ALU pipeline can read/write to 32 128-bit registers, which can be divided into 4 32-bit (highp in GLSL) components (one vec4) or 8 16-bit (mediump) components (two vec4's). Some of the registers, however, are dedicated to special purposes (see below) and are read-only or write-only.

Special Registers

r24 - can mean "unused" for 1-src instructions, or a pipeline register
r26 - inline constant
r27 - load/store offset when used as output register
r28-r29 - texture pipeline results
r31.w - conditional select input when written to in scalar add ALU

r0 - r23 is divided into two spaces: work registers and uniform registers. A configurable number of registers can be devoted to each; if there are N uniform registers, then r0 - r(23-N) are work registers and r(24-N)-r23 are uniform registers.

ALU Words

The first (32-bit) word is a control word which, in addition to the usual 8-bit tag in bits 0-7, contains a bitfield describing which ALU's in the pipeline are in use. There are 5 ALU's, in addition to a framebuffer write (?) and branch unit.

0-3: instruction word type (0x8-0xB)
4-7: next instruction word type
17: vector multiply ALU (48 bits)
19: scalar add ALU (32 bits)
21: vector add ALU (48 bits)
23: scalar multiply ALU (32 bits)
25: LUT / multiply ALU 2 (48 bits)
26: output write/discard? (16 bits)
27: branch (48 bits)

It's not clear why only every other bit is used for the ALU's (fp64?).

After the control word comes a series of 16-bit words, one for each enabled ALU (up to 5) which control the input and output registers for each ALU. After that come the actual fields for each ALU/unit, whose sizes are noted in the table above. The instruction word is then padded with 0's to make sure it is a multiple of 4 words. Finally, embedded constants may be inserted, which consist of 4 32-bit numbers, interpreted as 4 IEEE 32-bit floats if the input is a float.

Register word format

0-4: input 1 register
5-9: input 2 register / inline constant
10-14: output register
15: input 2 inline constant

The register 2 inline constant is a way to store a 16-bit float directly in the instruction. The upper 5 bits (15-11) are stored where the input 2 register would normally go, and the lower 11 bits (0-10) are stored in the ALU field as defined below. The constant is splattered across all 4 components of the input. This is much more compact than the normal embedded constants, but much more limited as well.

Vector ALU word format

The vector multiply, add, and LUT ALU's share the same instruction format.

0-7: opcode
8-9: input/output mode
    1 - half (16-bit)
    2 - full (32-bit)
10: input 1 abs
11: input 1 neg
if input/output mode is half:
    12: input 1 replicate lower half-register
    13: input 1 replicate upper half-register
    12: input 1 half-register selection (high or low)
    13: unused
14: input 1 half-register (when output is a full register)
15-22: input 1 swizzle
23: input 2 abs
24: input 2 neg
if "input 2 inline constant" set:
    25-35: input 2 inline constant low 11 bits
    25-27: inline const 8-10
    28-35: inline const 0-7
    if input/output mode is half:
        25: input 2 replicate lower half-register
        26: input 2 replicate upper half-register
        25: input 2 half-register selection (high or low)
        26: unused
    28-35: input 2 swizzle
36-37: output size override
    0 - half, write to lower half
    1 - half, write to upper half
    2 - normal
    Note: I've only seen this for comparison instructions that compare two full floats or ints and need to return a half float
38-39: output modifier
    0 - none
    1 - clamp positive
    2 - output integer
    3 - saturate
40-47: write mask
    2 bits for each output when 32-bit, 1 bit when 16-bit

When the register mode is set to half, the operation is performed on the high and low half-registers at the the same time. The low 4 bits of the write mask control what components of the low half-register are written, and the high 4 bits control the high half-register. Normally, the operation is performed on the input 1 low register and input 2 low register to produce the output low register, and on the input 1 high register and input 2 high register to produce the high register. This can be overwritten, however, by the "input 1/2 replicate lower/upper half-register" bits which cause the given half-register to be used as an input to both operations at once.

Scalar ALU word format

The scalar multiply and add ALU's have the same format as well.

0-7: opcode
8: input 1 abs
9: input 1 negate
10: input 1 size (0 = half, 1 = full)
if input 1 size = full
    11: unused
    12-13: input 1 component
    11-12: input 1 component
    13: input 1 half-register selection (high or low)
if "input 2 inline constant" set:
    14-24: input 2 inline constant low 11 bits
    14-15: inline const 9-10
    16: inline const 8
    17-19: inline const 5-7
    20-24: inline const 0-4
    14: input 2 abs
    15: input 2 negate
    16: unknown
    17-18: input 2 component
    19-24: unknown
25: unknown
26-27: output modifier
    0 - none
    1 - clamp positive
    2 - output integer
    3 - saturate
if output size = full
    29: unused
    30-31: output component
    29-30: output component
    31: output half-register selection (high or low)


10 - fadd
14 - fmul
28 - fmin
2C - fmax
30 - fmov
36 - ffloor
37 - fceil
3C - fdot3
3D - fdot3r
3E - fdot4
3F - freduce
40 - iadd
46 - isub
58 - imul
7B - imov
80 - feq
81 - fne
82 - flt (less than)
83 - fle (less than or equal)
99 - f2i
A0 - ieq
A1 - ine
A4 - ilt
A5 - ile
C5 - csel (conditional select)
B8 - i2f
E8 - fatan_pt2
F0 - frcp (reciprocal)
F2 - frsqrt (inverse square root, 1/sqrt(x))
F3 - fsqrt (square root)
F4 - fexp2 (2^x)
F5 - flog2
F6 - fsin
F7 - fcos
F9 - fatan_pt1
    Note: for sin and cos, the input needs to be divided by pi

Pseudocode for how atan/atan2 is implemented:

vec4 temp1.xzw = fatan_pt1(x, y); //Note: a vec4 temporary is required, although the write mask is xzw so the y component isn't affected
float result = fatan_pt2(temp1.x, temp1.z * temp1.w);

To do atan instead of atan2, replace y with 1.0. asin and acos are implemented just like in the Mali 200 PP.

Load/store words

The load/store word consists of the standard 8-bit tag, followed by two 60-bit instructions whose format is described below. Each instruction can load or store up to 128 bits at once.

0-7: opcode
    03 - noop (no load/store)
    94 - load attribute (32-bit)
    95 - load attribute (16-bit)
    98 - load varying (32-bit)
    99 - load varying (16-bit)
    AC - load uniform (16-bit)
    B0 - load uniform (32-bit)
    D4 - store varying (32-bit)
    D5 - store varying (16-bit)
8-12: source/destination register
13-16: mask
17-24: swizzle
25-50: unknown
51-59: load/store address

The mask and swizzle acts like a move instruction. For example, a load with a mask of xzw and a swizzle of xywz means "take the x, w, and z components of the input and move them into the x, z, and w components of the register respectively."

TODO: indirect access

TODO: uniform buffers