[speex-dev] Intel libraries

Jeff Stoner jstoner at blackboard.com
Tue Jul 1 09:08:10 PDT 2003

On Tue, 2003-07-01 at 09:20, Greg Stovall wrote:
> The problem, of course, is that using these libraries restricts one to
> using Intel processors.  AMD processors need not apply.  While the
> libraries run on AMD processors, the non-Intel processor is detected
> and the optimizations are turned off.  Can't say this is true on the
> Athlon XP; I've not tried that processor yet.  And certainly, even if
> it does work, Intel would be well within their rights as IP holders to
> restrict these libraries to use only on Intel-developed processors.
> So, if we want to remain completely open, we might need to avoid the
> IPP libraries, much to my dismay.

Well, that's a philosophical decision that each person is going to have
to contend with. As Speex is under a variant of the BSD license and not
the GPL, those who implement Speex will be looking to make it as smooth
and fast as possible - especially in the embedded market. If hooks exist
to drop in Intel's IPP/MKL, it will make people more open to using Speex
over the other codecs. Why? Much of the optimization work has been done
for them = faster time to market = bigger profit margins and all the
other perks like that (developers not working 100+ hour weeks, your
neighbor's dog not pooping on your lawn, the paper boy/girl landing the
paper on your doorstep and not in the bushes, world peace, etc.)

I'm certainly not going to rule out Intel's IPP/MKL simply because they
aren't open source. I want to build a highly optimized product that's
very cost-friendly to the end user. And because I'm doing embedded work
on my time using my money - it needs to be as cost-friendly to me as
possible (low cost hardware, low-to-no cost software/tools.) Right now,
I can't even consider using Speex until work is completed on porting the
code to using integer math. Once that's complete, it would be nice to
optimize it even further with the IPP/MKL. I'm quite sure I'm not the
only person who could use a highly optimized Speex codec for Intel
chips. If AMD/IBM/Motorola/ARM come out with similar libraries for their
processors then those hooks can be added and Speex becomes a really
kick-butt codec on any platform.

Ultimately, it's Jean-Marc's call. Integrating the Intel IPP/MKL might
be a side-project for someone else to do and offer. If done right, it
can boil down to a set of compiler/linker directives (a la PGP/OpenSSL
using RSAREF) so the only sticking point would be a legal/ethical one
and not technological.

Sr. Unix Systems Administrator & Engineer
SAIR Linux and GNU Certified Professional

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