CS代考 ECE3375, Winter 2022 – cscodehelp代写

Subroutines & Parameters
Prof. Leod ECE3375, Winter 2022
This lesson continues the discussion of assembly lan- guage, with specific emphasis to the code base for the ARM®Cortex-A9 processor. Additional forms of branch- ing are introduced, and the stack, and subroutines, and passing/returning parameters are discussed.

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Assembly Language and Microcontrollers
As previously mentioned, the basic categories of assembly language instructions are:
1. Data movement instructions.
2. Data manipulation instructions.
3. Conditionals and test instructions. 4. Branch instructions.
5. Subroutine instructions.
6. Interrupt instructions.
This lesson will examine branching in further detail, and introduce subroutines.

We already discussed the basics of branching: The preferred way to create branches in your program is to use the equivalent of a GOTO command to jump to a label somewhere else in your code.
Mnemonic: To perform a direct branch to a known location in your pro- gram, use the b mnemonic. This requires a single label as an operand.
Mnemonic: To perform an indirect branch to a variable location in your program, use the bx mnemonic. This requires a single register as an operand, the register should hold the memory address of appropriate instruction.
Like every mnemonic, both b and bx can have appended condi- tional codes.

The Link Register
Branching and looping is undeniably cool, but it is a bit rigid. What if we want to write a subroutine that can be called, and then re- turn to the original spot in code? This is where indirect branching comes in. Consider the following example:
/* some code here */
mov r3 , pc
b pause_for_input /* more code */
mov r3 , pc
b pause_for_input /* even more code */ pause_for_input:
@read switches
@check if switches changed
ldr r1, [r4]
cmp r1, r0
beq pause_for_input
bx r3 @return to original code
In this example, pause_for_input is now a subroutine.
• By storing the state of pc before branching to the subroutine, r3 now contains the address of the instruction that comes immediately after the branch instruction. 1
• By exiting the pause_for_input block using an indirect branch, the program returns to the appropriate place in the code.
This procedure is so common that as special register and some 4
1 The ARM has the odd property that any
time you move pc into a register, it actually moves pc+4. This always trips me up: when
the command mov r3, pc executes, pc was already updated to point to the next line of code, however r3 actually holds the address of the line of code after that.

mnemonics are available to streamline the process, and avoid the cludgy and confusing “mov r3, pc”-type code.
Definition: The link register lr is a special register used to store the ad- dress of an instruction immediately after the current one (i.e., the address pc + 4).
Mnemonic: To save the next instruction before branching to a direct label, use the direct branch with link mnemonic bl.
Mnemonic: To save the next instruction before branching to a indirect location, use the indirect branch with link mnemonic blx.
This cleans up the above example, as shown below. Note that there is now no need to explicitly save the program counter, or to appro- priately increment it.
/* some code here */
bl pause_for_input
/* more code */
bl pause_for_input
/* even more code */
pause_for_input:
@read switches
@check if switches changed
ldr r1, [r4]
cmp r1, r0
beq pause_for_input
bx lr @return to original code

Definition: Definition: Definition: Definition:
The stack is a special area of memory used to store “snap- shots” of the registers. It is a last-in-first-out data structure.
The stack pointer sp is a special pointer that holds the most recently-used memory address in the stack.
When data is written to the stack, we say it is pushed onto the stack.
When data is read from the stack, we say it is popped off the stack.
The above discussion of the link register demonstrate how simple subroutines can be implemented in assembly. However there is still a lot of functionality missing:
• There is only one link register, so subroutines cannot be nested. 2
• There is a finite set of registers, many of which are probably needed in the main program. But the subroutine needs regis- ters too! Your subroutines have to know which registers it can overwrite and which it must preserve.
A more flexible way of approaching subroutines is to store the state of the program prior to the subroutine call to memory, than re- store it just before the subroutine returns. This method is common enough that a special area of memory and a special set of mnemon- ics are available to simplify and standardize writing subroutines in assembly.
2 Well, technically these kind of subroutines can be nested, if you use a different register to hold the previous pc+4 address for each level of nesting. But this is clumsy and requires advance knowledge of how many levels of nesting are possible.

There are a few variations in how a stack is constructed. First, there are two options for how data is written to the stack.
Definition: A descending stack starts at a high memory address, and decrements the stack pointer as data is written to the stack. The stack is described as growing downwards.
Definition: An ascending stack starts at a low memory address, and in- crements the stack pointer as data is written to the stack. The stack is described as growing upwards.
Second, there are two options for what the stack pointer addresses.
Definition: In a full stack, the stack pointer addresses the last memory location which contains data that was written to the stack.
Definition: In an empty stack, the stack pointer addresses the first empty memory location in the direction of the stack’s growth.
Empty Full
Stack base
Full Empty
Figure 1: Schematics of different types of stacks. Left: an ascending stack, right: a descending stack. The stack pointer would address the dark red cell for a full stack, or the white cell for an empty stack.

Accessing the Stack
An ARMv7 system uses a full descending stack. Similar to other concepts we’ve discussed (like endian-ness), the architecture of the stack is only important if you try to access it directly. Consider the following examples:
str r1, [sp, #-4]! @push to stack
The above is the correct way to manually push data onto a full de-
scending stack.
• This uses pre-index addressing to change the value of the stack pointer before writing the data, so the data is written to the next empty memory cell.
• The pre-index is −4 bytes, since the stack is descending. A pre-index is necessary because a full stack is used (sp ad- dresses a full memory element).
str r2, [sp], #-4 @push to stack – whoops!
The above is an incorrect way to manually push data onto a full
descending stack.
• This uses post-index addressing. With a full stack, that will overwrite the last element in the stack before incrementing the stack pointer.
• However, this is the correct way to manually push data onto an empty descending stack.

Please note that this code will still compile and run without error. The CPU doesn’t really “know” what is special about a stack — it is just an ordinary place in memory.
str r2, [sp, #4]! @push to stack – whoops!
Similarly, the above is also an incorrect way to manually push data onto a full descending stack — rather this is for a full ascending stack.
ldr r3, [sp], #4 @pop from stack
The above is the correct way to manually pop data out of a full,
descending stack.
• This uses a post-index of 4 bytes which is appropriate for a full, descending stack.
• Post-indexing is necessary because the stack pointer for a full stack always points to the last data element.
ldr r4, [sp, #4]! @pop from stack – whoops! The above is an incorrect way to manually pop data out of a full,
descending stack.
• By pre-indexing a shift of 4 bytes this will actually skip over the last element in the stack, and return the second-last ele- ment.

Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel: Use Push and Pop
You can avoid all the hassle of trying to remember how the stack architecture is defined by using special mnemonics designed to streamline using the stack.
Mnemonic: To push data onto the stack, use the push mnemonic, followed by a list of registers within curly braces.
Mnemonic: To pop data out the stack, use the pop mnemonic, followed by a list of registers within curly braces.
With this in mind, you can push and pop data without worrying about the correct way to update the stack pointer — that will hap- pen automatically. 3 However when pushing/popping multiple registers at once, it is important to recognize the order this occurs.
• If you push {r0,r1,r2}, then r2 is pushed on the stack first, and r0 is pushed to the stack last.
• Consequently, the first item removed when you pop data off the stack will be whatever was formerly in r0.
• Similarly, if you pop {r0,r1,r2}, then the stack is popped into r0 first, and into r2 last. 4
• This way, push {r0, r1, r2} followed by pop {r0, r1, r2} does not change the contents of the registers.
As an explicit example:
3 Warning! In the simulator, you can always pop from the stack even if there is nothing in it! This will cause the stack pointer to “wrap around” and start reading the opcodes in the program itself.
4 It is worth reminding everyone that ARM compiler always sorts the registers such that the lowest valued register is associated with the lowets memory address, so pop r2, r0, r1 does exactly the same thing as pop r0, r1, r2. I don’t like it — why use Assembler if you can’t do stupid things? — but that’s the way it is.

mov r0 , #3
mov r1 , #15
mov r2 , #255
push {r0, r1, r2} pop {r2}
pop {r0, r1}
Here the registers are initialized with some arbitrary numbers, then
pushed to the stack.
• In an ARMv7 system, the first (word) address in the stack is 0xfffffffc. As the stack is a full descending stack, before anything is on the stack the stack pointer is 0x00000000.
• When the registers are pushed to the stack, r2 goes in first, to address 0xfffffffc. Then r1 goes to address 0xffffffff8, and finally r0 goes to address 0xffffffff4.
• The contents of the registers is unchanged after pushing them to the stack.
• When the stack is popped to r2, the last stack value (the num- ber pushed from r0) is moved to r2, and the stack pointer is incremented up to 0xfffffff8.
• When the stack is popped twice, registers r0 and r1 are over- written with the remaining two values.
This process is shown schematically in Figure 2. It is worth stress- ing, again, that the “stack architecture” is just a programming con- vention, not a hardware implementation. If you are coding in assembly

language, you don’t need to use the stack as defined by the system: You can set aside any arbitrary block of memory and use str and ldr with the appropriate pre- or post-index addressing to act as a custom stack. Furthermore sp can act as a general purpose register, so as long as you don’t call push or pop you can use sp as the pointer for your custom stack.
r1 Figure 2: Representation of the code example showing how the stack contents, stack pointer,
and the register contents change as data is pushed and popped from the stack. Note that in an ARMv7 system, the first word in the stack is address 0xfffffffc (the first byte is address 0xffffffff).
#255 #255 #255 #15 #15 #15 #3 #3 #3
0x00000000
0xfffffff4
0xfffffff8
0x00000000

Subroutines
Good, reusable, and portable code uses the concepts of structured
programming, and often relies on subroutines. 5
Definition: A subroutine is a block of code that is called from the main code, performs some task, then returns to the same point in the main code. Subroutines often take one or more data val- ues as inputs, and often return one or more data values after completion.
For simple programs, implementing a subroutine is as easy as using a direct branch with link, then after completing the subroutine, returning to the main code with a indirect branch using the link register, as was discussed above. Simplicity is often a good idea in programming, but this method doesn’t always produce a reusable or portable subroutine. Some issues are:
• The CPU has a limited set of registers. How many registers were holding critical data from the main program, and how many are needed by the subroutine?
• If the subroutine is returning one or more values, which regis- ters or memory addresses will be used for these data?
Note that the first issue is something that is foreign to programmers only familiar with high-level programming: in those languages, the set of possible variables is basically infinite, and subroutines often exist within their own scope, so new variables for manipulating
5 In various languages these are also called functions, methods, procedures, routines,… and who knows what else.

data can be defined within the subroutine as necessary. But in as- sembly, where everything has to go through a limited of registers, data organization can be a important issue.
With this in mind, a “good” subroutine is one that preserves the main program’s status, and follows a standard protocol for input and output parameters.
1. The first is accomplished by the subroutine code immedi- ately pushing all relevant registers to the stack as soon as it is called, then popping these registers off the stack just be- fore it exists. This ensures the data used by the main program is preserved, while still allowing those registers to be used temporarily by the subroutine.
2. The second is accomplished by just making sure all the sub- routines you write follow the same protocol.
For writing subroutines, is probably a good idea to follow the same protocol everyone else uses:
• The first four registers (r0 to r3) are used to pass parameters into the subroutine, and return values from the subroutine: when the subroutine is called from the main program any data in those registers can be assumed to be an input param- eter, and when the subroutine returns to the main program any any data in those registers is assumed to be an output pa- rameter. The main program’s state is not preserved with these registers, they are not pushed or popped to the stack.

• The remaining registers (r4 and up, as well as sp and lr) should be preserved after the subroutine returns to the main program: if any of these registers are needed by the subrou- tine, the original value should be pushed to the stack, and restored before the subroutine exits.
This is especially important if you are writing assembly code that may interact with code written using higher-level programming (C code, in particular) — the higher-level code will automatically follow this protocol after it is compiled. Following these standards also makes it easy to have arbitrarily nested subroutines.
• As the labs in this course will use C code compiled into As- sembly language, this process is largely transparent to you
— the C compiler will handle converting a C function into an Assembly subroutine, with all the necessary pushes and pops to the stack.
• However it is good to understand this process so you can read the Assembly code generated by compiling your C program.
• And, of course, we like to ask exam questions about arbitrary (and contrived) subroutines.

Contrived Example
Consider the example below. This is a subroutine that does the valuable chore of reading from an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), then adds some constant to it. How valuable is this? So valuable! Such value as cannot be evaluated. There is only one problem:
• I am a bad student, and don’t know how to use the ADC yet! So that part is hidden in another subroutine that I will write later.
To implement this subroutine, I will adopt the following protocol. This is consistent with convention, but has some of my own signa- ture flair.
• In my programs, I only use registers r4 to r8 for local vari- ables — I don’t trust registers higher than r8 as they are shifty and of poor personal character 6 — so I only need to push those registers, and the link register, to the stack.
To ensure everything plays nicely with everything else, I need to remember to preserve the state of the system.
• I am preserving the state of the stack pointer by ensuring that I always pop for every push made during this subroutine.
• I only use r4 in this example as a local variable, so technically I don’t need to push r5 to r8 to the stack — this subroutine doesn’t touch them, so their value will be preserved — but I want to keep the same standard “state preservation” for all of
6 Your opinion of these registers may vary.

my subroutines. If I really cared about making my code as fast and efficient as possible, I would only push the registers that are needed by the subroutine.
• This subroutine expects the input parameter to be in r0, and the return value is also stored in r0.
This subroutine calls two nested subroutines: read_AD to read the ADC, and fix_big_number that somehow “fixes” when an un- signed addition generates a carry-out. I don’t know how either
of these two subroutines actually work, but that is not important: as long as they preserve the state and put their output in r0, the actual details of their code is irrelevant to this program.

/* my super subroutine
this reads input from an A/D converter and adds a constant to it.
the constant should be in r0
the output is returned in r0*/
read_AD_add_X:
@ preserve state
push {r4, r5, r6, r7, @ pass constant to r4 mov r4 , r0
@ get A/D input
@ I don’t know how to
@ I will put it in a separate subroutine bl read_AD
@ ok, somehow the A/D input is now in r0 @ add constant to A/D input, save in r0 adds r0 , r4
@ is result valid?
@ a carry-out means hs condition is met blhs fix_big_number
@ restore state
pop {r4 – r8, lr}
@ return to main code

The Stack Frame
More complicated subroutines may need to be passed, or return, complex data sets as parameters. Furthermore, while that subrou- tine is executing, it may need extra space for local variables. The stack should be used for all of this. To facilitate using the stack in this manner, a general-purpose register is used as a frame pointer.
Definition: The frame pointer contains the address in the stack that is at the start of the local storage for a subroutine.
Frame pointers are particularly useful in high-level programming languages — if you write a program in C that involves subroutines, you will see the frame pointer being used.
• The C compiler uses register r11 as the frame pointer.
• Register r11 is a general-purpose register, which can be used for arbitrary purposes in Assembly, so be careful if you are mixing Assembly code and C.
A frame pointer is used to set up a well-defined block of memory for temporary use by the subroutine.
• This memory can be accessed using the frame pointer as the base address, avoiding using the stack pointer.
• This is useful because the stack pointer normally should pop data for every push (and vice-versa) in order to always point to the end of the stack, however temporary variables can often be discarded after the subroutine is complete. 7
7 Meaning that there is no need to pop them off the stack, just “rewind” the stack pointer over them.

• This memory is also useful because it exists at the same lo- cation, relative to the stack pointer at the initial function call, for every subroutine. This allows code external to the subroutine to access that data. 8
To use stack frames, the protocol for writing subroutines should be as follows:
1. Save the previous frame pointer and link register to the stack.
2. Set the frame pointer to the stack pointer.
3. Move the stack pointer ahead by some arbitrary amount to leave some empty space for temporary variables.
4. Now preserve the state by pushing all remaining registers to the stack. Remem

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