Re: [PATCH 3/3] perf, x86, lbr: Demand proper privileges forPERF_SAMPLE_BRANCH_KERNEL

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Fri May 17 2013 - 07:41:32 EST

On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 09:32:08PM +1000, Michael Neuling wrote:
> Peter Zijlstra <peterz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> > Wouldn't it be mostly conditional branches that are the primary control flow
> > and can get predicted wrong? I mean, I'm sure someone will miss-predict an
> > unconditional branch but its not like we care about people with such
> > afflictions do we?
> You could mispredict the target address of a computed goto. You'd know
> it was taken but not know target address until later in the pipeline.

Oh right, computed targets could indeed be mis predicted. I was more thinking
about jumps with immediate values.

> On this, the POWER8 branch history buffer tells us two things about the
> prediction status.
> 1) if the branch was predicted taken/not taken correctly
> 2) if the target address was predicted correctly or not (for computed
> gotos only)
> So we'd actually like more prediction bits too :-D

So if I understand this right, 1) maps to the predicted flags we have; 2)
would be new stuff?

We don't really have anything like that on x86, but I suppose if you make the
thing optional and present a 'useful' use-case implemented in userspace code
we could take it :-)

> > Anyway, since PPC people thought it worth baking into hardware,
> > presumably they have a compelling use case. Mikey could you see if you
> > can retrieve that from someone in the know? It might be interesting.
> I don't think we can mispredict a non-conditional non-computed but I'll
> have to check with the HW folks.

I was mostly wondering about the use-case for the conditional filter. Stephane
didn't think it useful, clearly your hardware guys thought different :-)
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