CodeSourcery, IBM to Port Sourcery VSIPL++ for Cell BE Processor

CodeSourcery, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement with IBM to develop a version of Sourcery VSIPL++ for the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) processor. Sourcery VSIPL++, a high-performance signal- and image-processing (SIP) toolkit, dramatically simplifies the task of developing SIP applications for the Cell/B.E. processor. Because it implements a high-level, open-standard API, Sourcery VSIPL++ also facilitates the reuse of applications.

On a fast convolution benchmark, Sourcery VSIPL++ used the IBM Cell/B.E. Software Development Kit (SDK) to achieve performance of 83 GFLOPS on one Cell/B.E. processor and 318 GFLOPS on four Cell/B.E. processors – demonstrating 40% utilization of peak processing capability, linear scalability to multi-Cell systems, and a ten-fold performance improvement relative to conventional processors. With Sourcery VSIPL++’s compact syntax, fast convolution can be expressed in just eight lines of C++ and requires no Cell-specific code.

As part of its partnership with IBM, CodeSourcery will also develop high-performance math routines for the Cell/B.E. processor’s asymmetric multi-core architecture. These routines will run on both the Synergistic Processing Engines (SPEs) and the Power Processing Engine (PPE). Sourcery VSIPL++ will leverage these routines as well as the IBM SDK.

“Sourcery VSIPL++ allows applications developers to take advantage of the supercomputer-on-a-chip performance of the Cell Broadband Engine processor without having to write Cell-specific code,” said Mark Mitchell, Chief Sourcerer, CodeSourcery. “We’re excited about this expansion in our relationship with IBM and look forward to working with IBM’s partners and customers.”

“IBM will work with CodeSourcery to make it easier to develop new high-performance signal- and image-processing applications and to port existing VSIPL and VSIPL++ applications to the Cell/B.E. processor,” said Jim Comfort, vice president, Workload Optimized Systems for IBM Systems & Technology Group. “Sourcery VSIPL++ has the potential to be an invaluable Cell/B.E. software technology for high performance applications across a number of industries including digital media, medical imaging, aerospace, defense and communications.”

The key benefits of Sourcery VSIPL++ for the Cell/B.E. processor include:

  • Productivity
    Sourcery VSIPL++’s powerful dispatch engine manages the use of the SPEs, including double-buffering of communications to hide communication latency behind computation. Because developers have fewer lines of code to write and maintain, they can focus on fine-tuning their core algorithms and experimenting with the optimal use of the Cell/B.E. processor’s unique resources.
  • Portability
    Sourcery VSIPL++ provides a complete implementation of the open-standard VSIPL++ and VSIPL APIs developed by the VSIPL Forum. With Sourcery VSIPL++, developers can take advantage of the Cell/B.E. processor without sacrificing portability. And existing VSIPL and VSIPL++ code can simply be recompiled for the Cell/B.E. processor.
  • Performance
    Sourcery VSIPL++ uses expression templates to fuse operations to minimize communications and get maximal performance from the SPEs. In addition, Sourcery VSIPL++ can dispatch operations to optimized, low-level math libraries.
  • Parallelism
    Sourcery VSIPL++’s data-parallel model allows data to be distributed over multiple Cell/B.E. processors so that computations can be performed in parallel. With minimal changes to their applications, developers can utilize a multi-Cell/B.E. system.

Sourcery VSIPL++ is licensed on a subscription basis with no per-unit royalties. Free 30-day evaluations are available to qualified customers.

More resources for developers of applications for the Cell/B.E. processor are available from IBM.

CodeSourcery is a member of IBM PartnerWorld and the VSIPL Forum.

About CodeSourcery
CodeSourcery builds software tools that enable its customers to get the most out of hardware platforms ranging from embedded devices to supercomputers. Its products and services deliver on the promise of open-source software and open standards. CodeSourcery is a privately held company headquartered in Granite Bay, California. For more information about CodeSourcery, call (650) 331-3385 or send email to

Sourcery VSIPL++ is a trademark of CodeSourcery, Inc.