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SubjectRe: [PATCH v6 00/10] Retpoline: Avoid speculative indirect calls in kernel
For Intel the manuals state that it's 16 entries --
Agner also reports 16 (presumably experimentally measured) e.g. [3.8]
For AMD it can be larger, for example 32 entries on Fam17h (but 16
entries on Fam16h).

For future proofing a binary, or a new AMD processor, 32 calls are
required. I would suggest tuning this based on the current CPU (which
also covers the future case while saving cycles now) to save overhead.

On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 3:16 AM, Andrew Cooper <> wrote:
> On 08/01/18 10:42, Paul Turner wrote:
>> A sequence for efficiently refilling the RSB is:
>> mov $8, %rax;
>> .align 16;
>> 3: call 4f;
>> 3p: pause; call 3p;
>> .align 16;
>> 4: call 5f;
>> 4p: pause; call 4p;
>> .align 16;
>> 5: dec %rax;
>> jnz 3b;
>> add $(16*8), %rsp;
>> This implementation uses 8 loops, with 2 calls per iteration. This is
>> marginally faster than a single call per iteration. We did not
>> observe useful benefit (particularly relative to text size) from
>> further unrolling. This may also be usefully split into smaller (e.g.
>> 4 or 8 call) segments where we can usefully pipeline/intermix with
>> other operations. It includes retpoline type traps so that if an
>> entry is consumed, it cannot lead to controlled speculation. On my
>> test system it took ~43 cycles on average. Note that non-zero
>> displacement calls should be used as these may be optimized to not
>> interact with the RSB due to their use in fetching RIP for 32-bit
>> relocations.
> Guidance from both Intel and AMD still states that 32 calls are required
> in general. Is your above code optimised for a specific processor which
> you know the RSB to be smaller on?
> ~Andrew

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