Each instruction pattern contains an incomplete RTL expression, with pieces
to be filled in later, operand constraints that restrict how the pieces can
be filled in, and an output pattern or C code to generate the assembler
output, all wrapped up in a
define_insn is an RTL expression containing four or five operands:
The absence of a name is indicated by writing an empty string where the name should go. Nameless instruction patterns are never used for generating RTL code, but they may permit several simpler insns to be combined later on.
Names that are not thus known and used in RTL-generation have no effect; they are equivalent to no name at all.
For the purpose of debugging the compiler, you may also specify a name beginning with the `*' character. Such a name is used only for identifying the instruction in RTL dumps; it is entirely equivalent to having a nameless pattern for all other purposes.
match_dup expressions that stand for
operands of the instruction.
If the vector has only one element, that element is the template for the
instruction pattern. If the vector has multiple elements, then the
instruction pattern is a
parallel expression containing the
For a named pattern, the condition (if present) may not depend on the data in the insn being matched, but only the target-machine-type flags. The compiler needs to test these conditions during initialization in order to learn exactly which named instructions are available in a particular run.
For nameless patterns, the condition is applied only when matching an
individual insn, and only after the insn has matched the pattern's
recognition template. The insn's operands may be found in the vector
operands. For an insn where the condition has once matched, it
can't be used to control register allocation, for example by excluding
certain hard registers or hard register combinations.
When simple substitution isn't general enough, you can specify a piece of C code to compute the output. See Output Statement.