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Guest editorial: Low power is everywhere

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chrisshore
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re: Guest editorial: Low power is everywhere
chrisshore   4/27/2012 2:19:00 PM
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I think we're close on our definitions. I am thinking of any accesses to the stack carried out by code running on an ARM system which complies with the ABI. That covers parameters, spills, automatic variables, caller/callee-saved registers etc. The ABI says that the stack pointer must be word aligned at all times (and doubleword-aligned at external boundaries). It doesn't actually say that you can't push/pop two halfwords at once in a pair of atomic operations but doing so would be impractically difficult while sticking to the ABI. Yes, you can use halfword memory accesses indexed via SP, in the sense that the instruction set permits it. But it isn't possible (or at least practical) to do so in a way which doesn't violate the ABI. The ABI for AArch64 specifies quadword alignment for SP at all times (whether externally visible or not) so, although instructions may exist for sub qword stack accesses, they aren't practically usable in this context.

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