Mapping of application software to the multimedia instructions of general-purpose microprocessors

Ruby Lee, Larry McMahan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper describes how media processing programs may be accelerated by using the multimedia instruction extensions that have been added to general-purpose microprocessors. As a concrete example, it describes MAX2, a minimalist, second-gene ration set of multimedia instructions included in the PA-RISC 2.0 processor architecture. MAX2 implements subword parallel instructions, which utilize the microprocessor's 64-bit wide datapaths to process multiple pieces of lower-precision data in parallel It also includes innovative, new instructions like Mix, which are very useful for matrix transpose and other common data rearrangements. The paper examines some typical multimedia kernels, like Block Match, Matrix Transpose, Box Filter and the IDCT, coded with and without the MAX2 instructions, to illustrate programming techniques for exploiting subword parallelism and superscalar instruction parallelism. The kernels using MAX2 show significant speedups in execution time, and more efficient utilization of the processor's resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 17 1997
EventMultimedia Hardware Architectures 1997 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Feb 8 1997Feb 14 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Code optimizations
  • MAX2
  • Media processing
  • Multimedia extensions
  • Packed arithmetic
  • SIMD
  • Subword parallelism


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