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bswap-wasm
bswap in WASM by using rotates
Last updated 5 months ago by emilbayes .
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bswap-wasm

bswap in WASM by using rotates

Usage

bswap is a useful instruction for converting words of various sizes between Big Endian and Little Endian. Unfortunately, even though most modern processors have specialised instructions for bswap, this instruction didn't make it into the WebAssembly instruction set.

The most common way to implement bswap is a series of shifts and or's, essentially masking out single bytes and shifting them around, pivoting at the middle:

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08  Initial
-----------------------
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01  Shift right 7 bytes
00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00  Shift right 5 bytes, mask 2nd byte
00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00  Shift right 3 bytes, mask 3nd byte
00 00 00 00 04 00 00 00  Shift right 1 byte, mask 4nd byte
00 00 00 05 00 00 00 00  Mask 4nd byte, shift left 1 byte
00 00 06 00 00 00 00 00  Mask 3nd byte, shift left 3 byte
00 07 00 00 00 00 00 00  Mask 2nd byte, shift left 5 byte
08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  Shift left 7 bytes
-----------------------
08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 Result by or'ing all intermediates
(func $i64.bswap
  (param $b i64)
  (result i64)

  ;; 8 get, 14 const, 8 shifts, 6 ands, 7 ors = 43 ops

  (i64.shr_u (local.get $b) (i64.const 56))
  (i64.and (i64.shr_u (local.get $b) (i64.const 40)) (i64.const 0x0000FF00))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.and (i64.shr_u (local.get $b) (i64.const 24)) (i64.const 0x00FF0000))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.and (i64.shr_u (local.get $b) (i64.const  8)) (i64.const 0xFF000000))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.shl (i64.and (local.get $b) (i64.const 0xFF000000)) (i64.const 8))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.shl (i64.and (local.get $b) (i64.const 0x00FF0000)) (i64.const 24))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.shl (i64.and (local.get $b) (i64.const 0x0000FF00)) (i64.const 40))
  (i64.or)
  (i64.shl (local.get $b) (i64.const 56))
  (i64.or))

The technique in this module uses the native rotl and rotr instructions, which allow you to rotate bytes around the word boundary.

Let's start with the simple case of i32 (4 bytes). Here the direction of rotation does not matter as the technique is symmetric around the middle:

01 02 03 04
-----------
00 02 00 04  Mask odd bytes
04 00 02 00  Rotate 1 byte

01 00 03 00  Mask even bytes
00 03 00 01  Rotate 1 byte
-----------
04 03 02 01  Or everything
(func $i32.bswap
  (param $b i32)
  (result i32)

  ;; 2 get, 4 const, 5 bitwise = 11 ops

  (i32.or
    (local.get $b)
    (i32.const 0x00FF00FF)
    (i32.and)
    (i32.rotl (i32.const 8))

    (local.get $b)
    (i32.const 0xFF00FF00)
    (i32.and)
    (i32.rotr (i32.const 8))))

For the i64 (8 bytes) things get a bit more complicated as we need to swap in two steps, but we are basically applying the technique above recursively:

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
-----------------------
01 02 00 00 05 06 00 00  Mask odd byte pairs
00 00 05 06 00 00 01 02  Rotate left 2 bytes

00 00 03 04 00 00 07 08  Mask even byte pairs
07 08 00 00 03 04 00 00  Rotate right 2 bytes

07 08 05 06 03 04 01 02  or and store

00 08 00 06 00 04 00 02  Mask odd bytes
08 00 06 00 04 00 02 00  Rotate left 1 byte

07 00 05 00 03 00 01 00  Mask even bytes
00 07 00 05 00 03 00 01  Rotate right 1 byte
-----------------------
08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01  Or everything
(func $i64.bswap
  (param $b i64)
  (result i64)

  ;; 1 set, 4 get, 8 const, 10 bitwise = 23 ops
  (i64.or
    (local.get $b)
    (i64.const 0xFFFF0000FFFF0000)
    (i64.and)
    (i64.rotl (i64.const 16))

    (local.get $b)
    (i64.const 0x0000FFFF0000FFFF)
    (i64.and)
    (i64.rotr (i64.const 16)))

  (local.set $b)

  (i64.or
    (local.get $b)
    (i64.const 0x00FF00FF00FF00FF)
    (i64.and)
    (i64.rotl (i64.const 8))

    (local.get $b)
    (i64.const 0xFF00FF00FF00FF00)
    (i64.and)
    (i64.rotr (i64.const 8))))

I don't know that the above is the most optimal it can be, but it was fun to think about nevertheless.

This repository is not directly useable, but once we figure out a nice way to link WAT modules it might be.

License

ISC

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