The barrel shifter
The ARM processor incorporates a barrel shifter that can be used with the data processing instructions (ADC, ADD, AND, BIC, CMN, CMP, EOR, MOV, MVN, ORR, RSB, SBC, SUB, TEQ, TST). You can also use the barrel shifter to affect the index value in LDR/STR operations.
There are six mnemonics for the different shift types:
- LSL Logical Shift Left
- ASL Arithmetic Shift Left
- LSR Logical Shift Right
- ASR Arithmetic Shift Right
- ROR Rotate Right
- RRX Rotate Right with Extend
ASL and LSL are the same, and may be freely interchanged.
You can specify a shift with an immediate value, or by a register which holds the value to be shifted by.
Logical or Arithmetic Shift Left
Rx, LSL #n or Rx, ASL #n or Rx, LSL Rn or Rx, ASL Rn
The contents of Rx will be taken and shifted to a more significant position by the amount specified by n or in the register Rn. The shift amount can be from zero to thirty one. The least significant bits introduced are zeroes.
The high bits shifted off to the left are discarded, except for the notional bit thirty three (i.e., the last bit to be shifted off) which becomes the value of the carry flag on exit from the barrel shifter.
Consider the following:
MOV R1, #12 MOV R0, R1, LSL#2
On exit, R0 is 48. The instructions forming the sum
R0 = #12, LSL#2 is equivalent to the BASIC
R0 = 12 << 2, or in maths form,
R0 = 12 × 4.
Logical Shift Right
Rx, LSR #n or Rx, LSR Rn
This does the notional opposite of shifting left. Everything is shifted to the right, to a less significant position. It is the same as
register = value >>> shift.
The shift amount can be from one to thirty two, and the carry-out is the value of the last bit shifted out.
Arithmetic Shift Right
Rx, ASR #n or Rx, ASR Rn
This is similar to LSR, with the exception that the high bits are filled with the value of bit 31 of the register being shifted (Rx), in order to preserve the sign in 2's complement maths. It is otherwise the same as
register = value >> shift.
Rx, ROR #n or Rx, ROR Rn
Rotate Right is similar to a Logical Shift Right, except the bits which would normally be shifted off the right are replaced on the left, thus the bits 'rotate'.
If it was possible to specify the amount to be shifted as 32, the result would be that all the bits would be rotated by 32 places, right back to their original positions.
The carry-out is the value of the last bit shifted.
Rotate Right with Extend
This is a
ROR #1 operation, which rotates one place to the right - the difference is that the processor's Carry flag is used to provide a 33 bit quantity to be shifted.