What is unaligned memory access?

Unaligned memory accesses occur when you try to read N bytes of data starting from an address that is not evenly divisible by N (i.e. addr % N != 0). For example, reading 4 bytes of data from address 0x10004 is fine, but reading 4 bytes of data from address 0x10005 would be an unaligned memory access.

What does aligning the data mean?

Data alignment: Data alignment means putting the data in memory at address equal to some multiple of the word size. This increases the performance of system due to the way the CPU handles memory.

Why is alignment important in computer?

The CPU can operate on an aligned word of memory atomically, meaning that no other instruction can interrupt that operation. This is critical to the correct operation of many lock-free data structures and other concurrency paradigms.

What is an unaligned address?

The alignment of the access refers to the address being a multiple of the transfer size. For example, an aligned 32 bit access will have the bottom 4 bits of the address as 0x0, 0x4, 0x8 and 0xC assuming the memory is byte addressed. An unaligned address is then an address that isn’t a multiple of the transfer size.

What is aligned access?

An aligned memory access means that the pointer (as an integer) is a multiple of a type-specific value called the alignment. The alignment is the natural address multiple where the type must be, or should be stored (e.g. for performance reasons) on a CPU.

What is the purpose of alignment of data in cells?

With MS Excel, cell alignment is how your text or numbers are positioned in the cell. You can align vertically, meaning towards the top, the middle or the bottom. And you can also align horizontally, meaning to the left, the center or to the right. Excel actually has its own defaults for alignment.

What is natural alignment?

Natural alignment describes the practice in which the address of the data type is a multiple of the size of the data type. Using natural alignment allows the processor to avoid doing multiple memory operations to access a single value. This natural alignment has a cost, and it can lead to larger data structures.

What is alignment restriction?

Alignment restrictions are constraints in the type of distributions and the indexing into the matrix that the user may utilize when calling a particular routine. For example, some routines will not accept submatrices whose starting index is not a multiple of the physical blocking factor.

What is aligned and unaligned address in AXI?

32 bit value two lower address bits need to be zero to be aligned. A 32 bit value at 0x1000 is aligned but 0x1001, 0x1002, 0x1003 would all be unaligned. Memories are generally not 8 bits wide from an interface perspective as well as a geometry, depends on what kind of memory or where.

What are the two types of alignment of data in a cell?

Horizontal and Vertical Alignment Data in a cell can be positioned horizontally and vertically within the cell. There are three horizontal alignments available – against the left border, against the right border, and in the centre.

What happens when unaligned memory access is made?

On some processors, such as the Motorola 68000 and Motorola 68010 processors, and SPARC processors, unaligned memory accesses will result in an exception being raised (usually resulting in a software exception, such as POSIX ‘s SIGBUS, being raised). This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

What is the difference between aligned and unaligned addresses?

Similarly, if multi-byte accesses must be 32-bit aligned, addresses 0, 4, 8, 12, and so on would be considered aligned and therefore accessible, and all addresses in between would be considered unaligned. Attempting to access a unit larger than a byte at an unaligned address can cause a bus error.

Does arm support unaligned accesses?

Where an ARM part does support unaligned accesses (e.g. single word normal load), there is a performance penalty and there should be a configurable exception trap. Example of boundary error on ARM ( here ), TLDR: storing a pointer to an unsigned char and then attempting to convert it to a double * (double pointer).

Do unaligned accesses require twice the number of clock cycles?

[…] 2008, Alexander Sandler reported that unaligned accesses could require twice the number of clock cycles. Tweet Comments […] Thanks a lot for this post! Very informative […]