8. SIMD Programming on the PPU, Part 1: Vector Libraries and Functions

Single-Input, Multiple-Data (SIMD) processing is one of the PPU’s most important strengths. Whether the task involves rendering, simulating, or filtering, a modern processor needs to be able to crunch multiple numbers at once. The PPU provides dedicated hardware for this purpose, and its compatibility with the PowerPC architecture means that Mac users don’t need to modify their applications to run them on the Cell.

Most vector-based applications on the Cell rely on the SPUs rather than the PPU. But there are three important reasons to learn about SIMD coding on the PPU. First, the PPU supports many, but not all, of the instructions in the popular AltiVec instruction set architecture. ...

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