11. SIMD Programming on the SPU

Like many developers, I didn’t learn SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) coding until after college. And like many SIMD programmers, I quickly became an intolerable snob. “Your code only processes one scalar per cycle?” I’d ask. “You only perform one comparison with each loop iteration?” I came to look down upon scalar coders and wondered if they needed their fingers to count to ten.

Now that I’ve learned the Cell, I’ve become worse. “You mean your code only runs on one processing unit and it only has one pipeline?” Single-core coders defend themselves with statements like “Speed isn’t everything,” but compared to me, they might as well be turning beads on an abacus.

This goal of this chapter is to give you ...

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