Branchless UTF-8 解碼器

看到「A Branchless UTF-8 Decoder」這篇,先來回憶一下「非常經典的 UTF-8...」這篇,以及裡面提到的 encoding:

因為當初在設計 UTF-8 時就有考慮到,所以 decoding 很容易用 DFA 解決,也就是寫成一堆 if-then-else 的條件。但現代 CPU 因為 out-of-order execution 以及 pipeline 的設計,遇到 random branch 會有很高的效能損失,所以作者就想要試著寫看看 branchless 的版本。

成效其實還好,尤其是 Clang 上說不定在誤差內:

With GCC 6.3.0 on an i7-6700, my decoder is about 20% faster than the DFA decoder in the benchmark. With Clang 3.8.1 it’s just 1% faster.

而後來的更新則是大幅改善,在 Clang 上 DFA 版本比 branchless 的快:

Update: Björn pointed out that his site includes a faster variant of his DFA decoder. It is only 10% slower than the branchless decoder with GCC, and it’s 20% faster than the branchless decoder with Clang. So, in a sense, it’s still faster on average, even on a benchmark that favors a branchless decoder.

所以作者最後也有說這是個嘗試而已 XD:

It’s just a different approach. In practice I’d prefer Björn’s DFA decoder.

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