New Target Intrinsic Lowering and Legalization Mechanism


The current op lowering and legalization mechanism relies on the TVM_REGISTER_GLOBAL function and stores all function on global runtime registry tvm::runtime::Registry. The practice created some problem while being simple.

P0. The global registry overwhelmed by all kinds of functions including lowering functions and all other kinds of functions. It’s not easy to manage intrinsic lowering functions.

P1. The current lowering pass relies on string-based function matching, while being useful, could be hard to debug and develop as ops grow and new targets are introduced. There is no clear mechanism to perform efficient and reliable fall back mechanism with string based function matching.

P2. Some functions are not supported on given targets, requiring legalization.


With the current op registry available, we can change the op intrinsic lowering and legalization function into a unified TVM_REGISTER_OP fashion as follows.

.set_attr<FLegalize>("default.FLowerIntrinsic", LowerDefault)
.set_attr<FLowerIntrinsic>("default.FLegalize", LegalizeDefault)
.set_attr<FLegalize>("cuda.FLegalize", LegalizeOnCUDA)
.set_attr<FLowerIntrinsic>("cuda.FLowerIntrinsic", LowerOnCUDA)
.set_attr<FLegalize>("llvm.FLegalize", LegalizeOnLLVM)
.set_attr<FLowerIntrinsic>("llvm.FLowerIntrinsic", LowerOnLLVM)
.set_attr<FLegalize>("vulkan.FLegalize", LegalizeOnVulkan)
.set_attr<FLowerIntrinsic>("vulkan.FLowerIntrinsic", LowerOnVulkan);

Here FLowerIntrinsic denotes the function for intrinsic lowering and FLegalize denotes the function for legalization. Meanwhile, we use target name based keyword to support a fall back mechanism. Specifically, the functions are stored as PackedFunc and called during intrinsic lowering / legalization pass. All previous intrinsic lowering and legalization rules can be ported into the new mechanism.

Also, on python side, we can creat a new function called tvm.register_op with an exmaple as follows:

def coproc_dep_pop(op):
    return tvm.tir.call_extern(
        "int32", "VTADepPop", get_env().dev.command_handle, op.args[0], op.args[1]

Therefore, we can have a concise and clear way to register and call intrinsic lowering and legalization functions in tir level.

Steps to Take

S0. Implement the op registration and lowering mechanism with FLowerIntrinsic in intrinsic lowering pass.

S1. Port all previous target based lowering rules to new mechanism.

S1.1 Port python function to support op lowering function registering.

S2. Add missing ops that could be supported in cmath, make ops as numpy as possible.

S3. Implement the same mechanism for FLegalize.

S4. Add some legalization for ops in need on given targets.

Pull Request

This pull request resolved the step S0 and S1.

Please let me know any thoughts / opinions, thanks!

@junrushao1994 @tqchen @jroesch and any other contributors who are interested!


Thanks for the RFC! I like the idea of using op registry for lowering and legalization.

Hmmmm, I am not in favor of the python side API register_op, which might be a bit misleading and inflexible. Ideally we should provide the following syntax:

@tvm.register_lower_intrinsic("op-name", "default"/"cuda"/"llvm")
def coproc_dep_pop(op):

Good point. It’s a lot more clear. I’ll adopt in the PR.

1 Like

Just found this thread. What’s the intended difference between lowering and legalization?

We should have a way of legalizing builtins/intrinsics that can involve creating new statements. Not every builtin may be replaceable with an expression. Has anybody thought about doing that?

@kparzysz Thanks for asking! For example, there might be some rare TVM intrinsics like tir.erf that may be lowered to some cuda intrinsic (using Lowering), but those intrinsics aren’t guaranteed to exist on other hardware platforms, and in this case, we substitute the intrinsic with more complicated computation (using Legalization)