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A First Look at the Larrabee New Instructions A First Look at the Larrabee New Instructions
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A First Look at the Larrabee New Instructions
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:37   #1
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Default A First Look at the Larrabee New Instructions

One more grain of sand dropped on top of a pile of sand will usually do nothing more than make the pile a tiny bit larger. Occasionally, though, it will set off an avalanche that radically reshapes the landscape. Observations such as this form the basis of complexity theory, which holds that small events can have unpredictable, and sometimes disproportionately large, effects -- the relevance of which will become apparent momentarily.

Nearly five years ago Mike Sartain and I had just put the wraps on our x86 software renderer, Pixomatic. We had done everything we could think of to speed it up, and while it had certainly gotten a lot faster, it was still so much slower than hardware that we knew we could never close the gap. As we were setting up in the RAD Game Tools booth at Game Developers Conference one morning, I said to Mike: "Man, if only Intel had a lerp [linear interpolation] instruction!"

Mike pointed across the aisle at the Intel booth. "Maybe you should ask for one."
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