SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.

By: mpx (, June 22, 2008 12:25 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
First of all - there's no sense to compare SSE5 and 3dnow. The latter is a special-purpose, limited-functionality extension, unusable for anything except graphics. 3dnow was also different from the other products on the market then.

SSE5 on the other hand is a general purpose instructions set, viable for technical and scientific applications. What's more these instructios are of a known, proven quality, as they are similar to what's available in other (eg. PowerPC) ISAs.

The software side is also important. By not increasing register size AMD ensured the support for SSE5 on older operating systems, like Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server. It's most probable that Vista-pushing Microsoft won't patch older OSes to support register extensions. And considering slow Vista adoption, this may matter.

And the market has changed. Perhaps now it will be enough for new instruction sets to support immediate layers, like:.NET, Java, graphics drivers (like ATI :-), numeric libraries (BLAS etc.), gaming engines/frameworks and of course compilers to make enough impact to popularize instructions on the market. And it'll be easy to get manufacturers support for just a bunch of new instructions, while larger vectors may force them to change algorithms and data structures.

Besides AMD is trying hard to popularize GPGPU computing, that are exactly the type of applications that benefits from very large vectors on the CPU, so doing too good FPU may be counterproductive. If they are really serious about integrating GPUs with CPUs it may even make more sense to invest in speeding it up, than in uncertain technologies like very wide vector units.

Because this vector computing is a gamble. We don't know if it'll work out. Perhaps the future lies in hordes of scalar micro-cores? And if vectors are OK - why not go to 8192 bits at once? Or a hybrid approach with some cores having wide vectors, some not. By keeping things as they are, just improving them a bit, AMD is avoiding risks they now cannot afford.

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  Intel AVX kills AMD SSE5nobat2008/06/21 11:23 AM
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      So...Dean Kent2008/06/22 07:35 AM
  SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.mpx2008/06/22 12:25 AM
    SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.Michael S2008/06/22 01:42 AM
      SSE5 has a great chance for fiascoAgner2008/06/22 03:32 AM
        SSE5 has a great chance for fiascoIan Ameline2008/06/22 08:37 AM
        SSE5 has a great chance for fiascoanonymous2008/06/22 09:02 AM
          SSE5 has a great chance for fiascohobold2008/06/22 12:59 PM
            SSE5 has a great chance for fiascoHoward Chu2008/06/22 04:38 PM
      SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.hobold2008/06/22 12:52 PM
        SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.Michael S2008/06/22 01:46 PM
          SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.Hannes2008/06/24 08:49 AM
            SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.anonymous2008/06/24 10:46 AM
          SSE5 has a great chance to succeed.Ian Ollmann2008/06/24 10:12 PM
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