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floating point sse & sse2


Hello,

  I am new to this mailing list, sorry if my question has
already been discussed here.
  I will soon have Redhat Linux 7.2 installed on a Pentium 4
machine. I am trying to determine whether I can make use of the
floating point streaming simd extensions (SSE,SSE2) with GCC
or the AS assembler. I assume that if this is possible at all, I
will probably have to write in-line assembly code with the SSE
instructions, is that right? However I have downloaded the
latest version of the binutils I could find on ftp sites (version 2.11.2),
and I looked at the info files for the AS assembler -- the info
file says that AS currently does not support floating point SIMD
for intel processors. While I saw that the AS assembler can access
the XMM registers, there are other registers required for SSE that
are not mentioned in the info file (e.g. CR4). Is the info file 
out of date, or is it true that floating point SSE is not yet supported 
in AS (or GCC) for intel Pentium processors? If it is not yet supported, 
is this a project that is in the works for future versions?
  Even if SSE is supported in GCC or AS, I also have questions
whether the Linux kernel can support SSE. I have read that
the kernel must support context switching for floating point SSE
to work properly. I don't understand the implications of this, but
Redhat 7.2 uses kernel version 2.4.7-10 -- Would I have to use
a different version of the kernel to support SSE?
  Thanks for any assistance,

Richard


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