APCS-32 & 'float' argument passing

John Tytgat John.Tytgat at aaug.net
Sat Jun 5 06:14:29 PDT 2004

Not sure if this has been discussed before (can't search the mail archives)
but there seems to be an incompatibility between GCC 'float' argument
passing and Norcroft's, both in APCS-32 output mode and results in a
problem when using UnixLib with Norcroft.

APCS-32 specifies that floating point values are passed via the integer
registers instead of the floating point registers (not different than
APCS-R) and that's what you can also see in UnixLib's floorf() assembler
implementation :

	STR	a1, [sp, #-4]!
	LDFS	f0, [sp], #4
	RNDSM	f0, f0
	return	AL, pc, lr

However, GCC takes this as sizeof(float) == 4, so only a1 is used to
transfer the value but Norcroft is upgrading the 'float' to 'double'
and passes the value in two registers a1 and a2 :

[ Small piece of produced ARM code calling floorf() by Norcroft. ]
STFD    F6,[R13,#-8]!
LDMIA   R13!,{R0,R1}
BL      |floorf|


[ Small piece of produced ARM code calling floorf() by GCC. ]
LDR     R0,[R9,#&014]
BL      |floorf|
STFS    F0,[R13,#-4]!

Norcroft's implementation of upgrading 'float' to 'double' when passing
floating point values as arguments seems to be conforming the 'APCS'
documents from Acorn/Castle :

C Language Calling Conventions

Argument Representation

A floating point value occupies 1, 2, or 3 words, as appropriate to its type.
Floating point values are encoded in IEEE 754 format, with the most significant 
word of a double having the lowest address.

The C compiler widens arguments of type float to type double to support 
inter-working between ANSI C and classic C.

I can only conclude GCC is not completely APCS-32 compliant.

This incompatibility is slightly annoying when using UnixLib with Norcroft
because currently floorf() (and a couple of other assembler implemented
routines having 'float' arguments) does not produce the correct result
when called from Norcroft compiled code.

Has this been discussed before ? Could this be fixed in GCC please (this
means also a couple of fixes in UnixLib) ?

John Tytgat, in his comfy chair at home                                 BASS
John.Tytgat at aaug.net                             ARM powered, RISC OS driven

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