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New SSE4.2 Instructions

Intel continued increasing the number of supported SIMD instructions in their new Nehalem microarchitecture. They added a set of seven new instructions called SSE4.2 (they used SSE4.1 name for SIMD instructions of Penryn CPUs). Intel specifically stressed that the new SSE4.2 instructions are designed not that much for the processing of streaming media content, but for slightly different things. Therefore, new Nehalem instructions are also called ATA (Applications Targeted Accelerators).

ATA concept implies that contemporary technological processes allow employing some processor transistors not only in universal functional units but also in some specific tasks increasing the performance in particular applications.

According to this concept, SSE4.2 has five instructions accelerating XML-files parsing. These instructions also speed up lines and texts processing. Another two new instructions from SSE4.2 set are intended for completely different applications. The first one, CRC32 accumulates checksum, and the second one, POPCNT, counts the number of set bits in the source. These instructions can also be used for a wide range of crunching and networking tasks.

 
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