Each hwasan check requires emitting a small piece of code like this:
The problem with this is that these code blocks typically bloat code
An obvious solution is to outline these blocks of code. In fact, this
has already been implemented under the -hwasan-instrument-with-calls
flag. However, as currently implemented this has a number of problems:
- The functions use the same calling convention as regular C functions. This means that the backend must spill all temporary registers as required by the platform's C calling convention, even though the check only needs two registers on the hot path.
- The functions take the address to be checked in a fixed register, which increases register pressure.
Both of these factors can diminish the code size effect and increase
the performance hit of -hwasan-instrument-with-calls.
The solution that this patch implements is to involve the aarch64
backend in outlining the checks. An intrinsic and pseudo-instruction
are created to represent a hwasan check. The pseudo-instruction
is register allocated like any other instruction, and we allow the
register allocator to select almost any register for the address to
check. A particular combination of (register selection, type of check)
triggers the creation in the backend of a function to handle the check
for specifically that pair. The resulting functions are deduplicated by
the linker. The pseudo-instruction (really the function) is specified
to preserve all registers except for the registers that the AAPCS
specifies may be clobbered by a call.
To measure the code size and performance effect of this change, I
took a number of measurements using Chromium for Android on aarch64,
comparing a browser with inlined checks (the baseline) against a
browser with outlined checks.
Code size: Size of .text decreases from 243897420 to 171619972 bytes,
or a 30% decrease.
Performance: Using Chromium's blink_perf.layout microbenchmarks I
measured a median performance regression of 6.24%.
The fact that a perf/size tradeoff is evident here suggests that
we might want to make the new behaviour conditional on -Os/-Oz.
But for now I've enabled it unconditionally, my reasoning being that
hwasan users typically expect a relatively large perf hit, and ~6%
isn't really adding much. We may want to revisit this decision in
the future, though.
I also tried experimenting with varying the number of registers
selectable by the hwasan check pseudo-instruction (which would result
in fewer variants being created), on the hypothesis that creating
fewer variants of the function would expose another perf/size tradeoff
by reducing icache pressure from the check functions at the cost of
register pressure. Although I did observe a code size increase with
fewer registers, I did not observe a strong correlation between the
number of registers and the performance of the resulting browser on the
microbenchmarks, so I conclude that we might as well use ~all registers
to get the maximum code size improvement. My results are below:
Regs | .text size | Perf hit
~all | 171619972 | 6.24%
16 | 171765192 | 7.03% 8 | 172917788 | 5.82% 4 | 177054016 | 6.89%