Q&A: IA-64 Assembly Assistant

Q&A: IA-64 Assembly Assistant

This is a question received by Intel Software Network Support, followed by the response received from our engineering contacts:

Q. I read about IA-64 Assembly Assistant in the Intel Technology Journal article Assembly Language Programming Tools for the IA-64 Architecture, but was unfortunately unable to find it. It looks like a nice educational tool. Is it not available anymore?

A. The Intel Technology Journal article linked above was written in 1999. Unfortunately, this tool is no longer available. To do what it did, the tool needed to know details about the specific implementation (latencies, number and types of execution units, etc.). It was not updated for the differences between IntelItanium processors and the more recent Intel Itanium 2 processors, and as a result is no longer distributed.

It was an awesome tool though.

==

Lexi S.

IntelSoftware NetworkSupport

http://www.intel.com/software

Contact us

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For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

Followup Q&A on this topic:

Q. If the IA-64 Assembly Assistant is not available, then what replacement tool should I get in place of Assembly Assistant that does the same -- enter code sequence, step through the code, see how machine responds to different instructions in a nice GUI?

What's the penalty for wrong speculation? How crucial is it to avoid bank conflicts? What's the deal with all those myriads of load hints and branch types?

How do people learn the architecture in case there's no tool like Assembly Assistant around?

A. Answers to questions about speculation penalty and the like are documented in the Software Optimization Manuals:

Intel Itanium 2 Processor Reference Manual for Software Development and Optimization

Dual-Core Update to the Intel Itanium 2 Processor Reference Manual

Both of which are available at:
http://developer.intel.com/design/itanium2/documentation.htm

Either scroll down or follow the quick link to Manuals. The first one explains all the critical things about performance for Itanium 2 processors, while the second one updates it for dual core.

The IA-64 Assembly Assistant (from 1999)predates these types of manuals being written. These are good documents that focus on what to do for best performance.

==

Lexi S.

IntelSoftware NetworkSupport

http://www.intel.com/software

Contact us

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