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2008 International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (PACT) (2008)
Toronto, ON, Canada
Oct. 25, 2008 to Oct. 29, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-5090-3021-7
pp: 2-11
Dorit Nuzman , IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel
Ayal Zaks , IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel
Vectorization has been an important method of using data-level parallelism to accelerate scientific workloads on vector machines such as Cray for the past three decades. In the last decade it has also proven useful for accelerating multimedia and embedded applications on short SIMD architectures such as MMX, SSE and AltiVec. Most of the focus has been directed at innermost loops, effectively executing their iterations concurrently as much as possible. Outer loop vectorization refers to vectorizing a level of a loop nest other than the innermost, which can be beneficial if the outer loop exhibits greater data-level parallelism and locality than the innermost loop. Outer loop vectorization has traditionally been performed by interchanging an outer-loop with the innermost loop, followed by vectorizing it at the innermost position. A more direct unroll-and-jam approach can be used to vectorize an outer-loop without involving loop interchange, which can be especially suitable for short SIMD architectures. In this paper we revisit the method of outer loop vectorization, paying special attention to properties of modern short SIMD architectures. We show that even though current optimizing compilers for such targets do not apply outer-loop vectorization in general, it can provide significant performance improvements over innermost loop vectorization. Our implementation of direct outer-loop vectorization, available in GCC 4.3, achieves speedup factors of 3.13 and 2.77 on average across a set of benchmarks, compared to 1.53 and 1.39 achieved by innermost loop vectorization, when running on a Cell BE SPU and PowerPC970 processors respectively. Moreover, outer-loop vectorization provides new reuse opportunities that can be vital for such short SIMD architectures, including efficient handling of alignment. We present an optimization tapping such opportunities, capable of further boosting the performance obtained by outer-loop vectorization to achieve average speedup factors of 5.26 and 3.64.
Computer architecture, Parallel processing, Optimization, Registers, Program processors, Bandwidth, Jamming

D. Nuzman and A. Zaks, "Outer-loop vectorization - revisited for short SIMD architectures," 2008 International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (PACT), Toronto, ON, Canada, 2008, pp. 2-11.
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