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Re: developer release 3.1.2


>1) It looks as though the prefetch assisted double precision level2
>   will max out at about 50% + standard atlas.  Transpose: 94 ->140,
>   Notrans: 67 -> 97.  dger remains to be completed.  Basically, I
>   just looked at the atlas compiled assembler, and added prefetch.
>   So the rule of thumb appears to be SIMD +50%, prefetch +50%, 
>   both +100%.

50% from prefetch alone is quite nice; do you have a way of packaging
the assembler in a C file, or will I need to modify the makefiles to
support assembler?  I wouldn't be surprised to see a greater gain
for double precision complex . . .

>3) I do hope we can find a solution for distributed atlas binaries.  I
>   know the idea is for the user to build atlas on each platform they
>   will use, and that the current tree will skip any routines which
>   fail to compile on a given platform, (i.e. if there is no SIMD
>   support).  Serious users will do this no doubt.  

I don't know much about the .deb format, but I thought I read once that
it could run scripts.  No chance you can run a simple example SIMD program,
and install SIMD-enabled lib when it works, and the PII-style when it does
not, I guess?

>4) Do we have an idea as to when we might want to release a
>   SIMD-enhanced atlas, say in Debian?  

You guys can of course release any time you wish.  Antoine and I are trying
to get the next official release of ATLAS ready by the end of the summer,
but we'll see if we get it rolling or not.  There are two main additions
for this next big release:  the opening up of the kernels for outside
contribution, and the addition of SMP support via pthreads.  As soon as we
get these guys in and tested, we'll have a release.  

For the first phase of the work, Antoine worked seperately on threading while
I worked on the infrastructure necessary to open up the kernels.  We have
just started the process of bringing the work back together so it all is
in one package.  When we get something working at all reliably, we'll have
developer releases that include threading, so you should be able to follow,
at least roughly, the progress to the next ATLAS release.

After the release, I hope to formalize a bit more the developer/regular
releases.  I certainly plan to keep both around: having a developer release
with the newest stuff that we have is certainly a boon to people working on
the package, and allows everyone to get stuff used much quicker than we
can give out with the "stable" releases . . .

>Is there any word on the most important level3 front?

I haven't heard from the emmerald guys since they said that giving GEMM to
us as a kernel provided too poor of a performance.  Since it apparently
beat our current kernel, I disagree, but you can't release code you don't
have :)  Last I heard they were working on a complete GEMM instead . . . 
As a general rule, if I hear anything important on the developer front,
I'll CC to the list . . .

I agree that the Level 3 is the most important for performance reasons, but
to me the main thing is to have the ability to contribute in the stable
package;  I think particular contributions will come later.  So far, I have your
stuff, and Goto's gemm: these are already significant proof-of-concept,
and once people see the power of this building block approach, I hope
that people will fill in the pieces we don't have . . .

That's why we will have an ATLAS release as soon as Antoine and I get our
stuff together, regardless of what outside contribution we have in place
at that time: the quicker we get this stuff in front of all our users
(remember, right now the only people who know about the developer release
and kernel contribution are a few people I sent mail to, and those who
have stumbled over the web page somehow) the quicker the holes in our
coverage will fill up . . .