Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Specification Reply To: Specification

Ivan Godard
Post count: 627

The Mill already defines signed division, but not in the sense you mean. DIVU accepts unsigned arguments and so the ambiguity for signed does not exist. DIVS accepts signed arguments and produces the C-language result, as is standard in the programming languages that the hardware must accept. We expect that division will be an emulated op (rather than hardware native) on nearly all Mill members. We define a reciprocal-approximation helper op to get the emulation started, and the helper will be native. In practice, the helper and software Newton/Rapheson of the emulation is nearly as fast as a hardware version would be.

It is easy to specify another operation, but it still must be implemented, tested, verified, and documented, and that is not without cost. Consequently we only add ops when their use can improve performance of widely used languages, or where they are needed by critical applications that will access them through intrinsics.

So far we know of no language or app that would justify another division. It is quite rare for an app to have division as a performance-critical step, but if you are aware of any then please bring them to our attention.