On 2016.09.22 11:06, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
However, there is a fundamental issue with EBC on ARM that has not
been addressed yet, which makes EBC support problematic:
ARM uses natural alignment for 64-bit types, which means it leaves
gaps in the stack frame, and the thunking code has no way of dealing
with that.

I was hoping you would comment on this, as I believe the issue is larger than Arm (which is why I thought the Arm patch could be integrated), since I ran into something similar for X64 and AARCH64, with the conversion from stack to register parameters.

Let me start by showing a real-life example of what the current EBC implementation does, on different architectures, if you CALLEX from EBC into a native function call such as:

VOID MultiParamNative(
    UINT32,
    UINT64,
    UINT64,
    UINT64,
    UINT32,
    UINT32,
    UINT64
);

with values:

    0x1C1C1C1C,
    0x2B2B2B2B2A2A2A2A,
    0x3B3B3B3B3A3A3A3A,
    0x4B4B4B4B4A4A4A4A,
    0x5C5C5C5C,
    0x6C6C6C6C,
    0x7B7B7B7B7A7A7A7A

If you do that, then the parameter values seen by each Arch will be as follows:

IA32:
  p1 = 0x1C1C1C1C
  p2 = 0x2B2B2B2B2A2A2A2A
  p3 = 0x3B3B3B3B3A3A3A3A
  p4 = 0x4B4B4B4B4A4A4A4A
  p5 = 0x5C5C5C5C
  p6 = 0x6C6C6C6C
  p7 = 0x7B7B7B7B7A7A7A7A

X64:
  p1 = 0x1C1C1C1C
  p2 = 0x3A3A3A3A2B2B2B2B
  p3 = 0x4A4A4A4A3B3B3B3B
  p4 = 0x5C5C5C5C4B4B4B4B
  p5 = 0x6C6C6C6C
  p6 = 0x7B7B7B7B
  p7 = 0x06F23E4012345678

ARM:
  p1 = 0x1C1C1C1C
  p2 = 0x3A3A3A3A2B2B2B2B
  p3 = 0x4A4A4A4A3B3B3B3B
  p4 = 0x5C5C5C5C4B4B4B4B
  p5 = 0x6C6C6C6C
  p6 = 0x7A7A7A7A
  p7 = 0x446EEC467B7B7B7B

AA64:
  p1 = 0x1C1C1C1C
  p2 = 0x3A3A3A3A2B2B2B2B
  p3 = 0x4A4A4A4A3B3B3B3B
  p4 = 0x5C5C5C5C4B4B4B4B
  p5 = 0x6C6C6C6C
  p6 = 0x7B7B7B7B
  p7 = 0x00000000FFFFFF91

Note that these are real-life results gotten from a native set of drivers [1] + EBC sample [2], specifically designed to test the above.

So, as you can see, only IA32 currently retrieves the parameters with their expected values. All the other platforms, and not just Arm, have an issue with parameter retrieval.

I too performed some analysis [3], to understand the problem, the result of which can be summarized as follows:

Let's say you have native protocol function:

  ProtocolCall(UINT32, UINT64, UINT64)

to which you want to pass values:

  (0x1C1C1C1C, 0x2B2B2B2B2A2A2A2A, 0x3B3B3B3B3A3A3A3A)

With the EBC VM, the parameters then get stacked as (little endian, CDECL and using 32-bit longwords to represent the stack):

   +--------+
   |1C1C1C1C|
   +--------+
   |2A2A2A2A|
   +--------+
   |2B2B2B2B|
   +--------+
   |3A3A3A3A|
   +--------+
   |3B3B3B3B|
   +--------+
   +????????+
   +--------+

Now, if you are calling into an x86_32 arch, this is no issue, as the native call reads the parameters off the stack, and finds each one it its expected location.

But if, say, you are calling into native Arm, then the calling convention dictates that the first four 32 bits parameters must be placed into Arm registers r0-r3, rather than on the stack, and what's more, that if there exist 64 bit parameters among the register ones, they must start with an even register (r0 or r2).

What this means is that, with the current EBC handling, which simply maps the top of the stack onto registers for native CALLEX (as the VM cannot guess the parameter signature of the function it is calling into, and therefore will not do anything else but a blind mapping of the stack onto registers), the native Arm function effectively gets called with the following parameter mapping:

   +--------+
   |1C1C1C1C|  -> r0 (32-bit first parameter)
   +--------+
   |2A2A2A2A|  -> (r1/unused, since first parameter is 32-bit)
   +--------+
   |2B2B2B2B|  -> r2 (lower half of 64-bit second parameter)
   +--------+
   |3A3A3A3A|  -> r3 (upper half of 64-bit second parameter)
   +--------+
   |3B3B3B3B|  -> lower half of 64-bit third parameter (stack)
   +--------+
   +????????+  -> upper half of 64-bit third parameter (stack)
   +--------+

The end result is that, the Arm call ends up with these values:

  (0x1C1C1C1C, 0x3A3A3A3A2B2B2B2B, 0x????????3B3B3B3B)

However, while we used Arm for this example, this is not an Arm specific issue, as x86_64 and Arm64 also expect any of the first eight parameters to a native call, that are smaller than 64-bit, to get passed as a 64-bit register, which means they too have the same issue as the one illustrated above.

Now, I'm not sure what the solution to that issue would be. I tend to agree that, short of including a parameter signature for function calls, this function argument marshalling issue between EBC and native will be difficult to solve. A possible half-workaround I thought of could be to keep track of all the PUSHes having been carried out before a CALLEX, and *assume* (or mandate in the specs) that all the arguments were pushed individually and that the size of the PUSH matches the desired size for a register argument, but even that would still add a lot of complexity and be prone to breakage...

The other solution of course is to ask EBC code developers to be aware of and compensate for the calling convention issue, and pad the stack as required depending on the ISA they are calling into, which is how I made my protocol.asm sample work [4], but this is still rather inconvenient, especially if not coding in EBC assembly, and defeats the point of trying to write Arch independent code.

Considering this, I'm not entirely convinced ARM EBC integration should be held back, as the problem we are faced with is part of a larger issue that we'll need to resolve for all archs (except IA32), and not just ARM...

Regards,

/Pete

[1] https://github.com/pbatard/fasmg-ebc/tree/master/Protocol
[2] https://github.com/pbatard/fasmg-ebc/blob/master/protocol.asm
[3] https://github.com/pbatard/fasmg-ebc/blob/master/protocol.asm#L113-L177
[4] https://github.com/pbatard/fasmg-ebc/blob/master/protocol.asm#L211-L219

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