"Although it got buried in the XScale announcements this week,
Intel is stepping up its software offerings in intriguing fashion.
Intel's Integrated Performance Primitives are a set of libraries
that run across Intel architectures and began life as way of
tapping MMX and Screaming Sindy instructions without dropping down
to assembler code. These libraries already exist for image
processing, signal processing, maths and recognition primitives,
including Hidden Markov models and neural nets. That's already a
substantial body of useful code, and not something you'd knock
together over a weekend."
"It's not an API, he insists, but just when does a rich
programmer's toolkit become a cross-platform API? Well, when it
becomes truly cross platform, for a start. Although IIP is
StrongARM, IA-32 and IA-64 that's all. But should the free
software community want to adopt the programming interfaces and
backfill the code for generic x86 or MIPs chips, then you start to
have a framework that makes the underlying OS less important. And
that in turn makes the OS choice based on ubiquity (which should
favour Symbian) or flexibility and price (which should favour
"Perhaps emboldened by the antitrust verdict (in which it was
revealed that Intel agreed to sideline some software initiatives at
Gates' request), Intel feels it can take the lead. ... So what
started life as an initiative to banish assembler coding looks like
it could be a framework for wireless and multimedia development.
It's already halfway there, and the history of free software should
tell it just where the finishing line lies."
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