PERTH, Western Australia -- Pixelglow Software today launched a major new version of their flagship library, macstl 0.3. Available now, macstl is a portable SIMD (single instruction multiple data) toolkit featuring fast transcendental and integer division functions, complex number arithmetic and cross-platform programming, all in an easy-to-use syntax. Highlights of this version: Mac OS X Tiger (Universal Binaries) and Yellow Dog Linux support, "macstlizer" technology to ease the transition from PowerPC to Intel for SIMD programmers, and new min, max, select and rsqrt functions.
macstl requires Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4, Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003, or Yellow Dog Linux. The library is open-source and free when derived code is reciprocated, otherwise it is $99 for a Personal license, $499 for a Corporate License and $2499 for a Redistributable License.
SIMD is a feature of modern CPUs like the PowerPC Altivec and Intel MMX/SSE that allows them to process data 4x to 16x faster than regular, scalar processors. Until now, each processor had its own sets of opcodes and extensions, and previous library-based solutions have either been inflexible or slow. macstl tries to unify the disparate SIMD architectures in an straightforward C++ header-only library, while still offering the full performance of SIMD.
macstl is dual-licensed under the open-source Reciprocal Public LIcense (RPL) and proprietary Pixelglow Source License (PSL). The project is geared for open source with an extensible SIMD framework in place for other SIMD architectures, contributor license and mailing list, Subversion source control support and a profit-sharing scheme with contributors. Open source will bring many benefits to the project, including greater transparency of code and faster development turnaround.
The library has already won rare kudos in the Macintosh development and high performance computing industries. Holger Bettag, an Altivec enthusiast and programmer, reports that macstl "offers the nicest way of utilizing Altivec I know of: access to all the Altivec primitives, good code generation if you use a recent compiler and a much cleaner and more compact syntax that the official... interface." Gaurav Khanna, Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth USA, says, "I'm looking closely into macstl and we are very intrigued and impressed." Paul Baxter of QinetiQ, a defense and security company in the UK, summarizes: "It's been evident... that you love this stuff and are very good with it."
Pixelglow Software stands for "simply brilliant stuff" -- the software house that specializes in synthesizing disparate technologies, making deeply powerful tech simple to use. Pixelglow Software's flagship product, the Altivec-optimized SIMD toolkit macstl, is well regarded in numerics, high-performance and open-source circles since 2003. Their port of Graphviz to Mac OS X took two prizes in the Apple Design Awards of 2004: Winner for Best Open Source Product and Runner-Up for Best New Product.