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Are AVX Intrinsics supported on 32 bit processors??

In the AVX programming reference file(in theintel site, filename: 319433-007.pdf) it has been mentioned in chapter 1that AVX instructions areprovidedfor the Intel64 architecture.Does this imply theuse of a 64 bit processor only to execute AVX instructions.

1. Canthe AVX instructions work on a32 bit operating system (x86 - 32 )on a 32 bitbuild mode. Can Win32 build mode be used to run AVX instructions?

2. Is theAVX instruction set onlygoing to runon a 64 bit operating system with the x64 build mode?

3. Finally will a 32 bit processor support AVX (Win32 Build only)?

I hope I have made myself clear.

Thanks and Regards
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5 Replies

Intel AVX instructions will be available on both 32bit and 64bit flavors of Processor and OS. It is not 64bit specific. I think that text can be clarified.



If you run a 32-bit OS installer on a processor in the Intel 64 architecture family, the combination of installed OS support for new ISAs and the processor's ISA capability (reported by CPUID) determine what ISA software developer and end-user can use.

AVX will require OS to have 256-bit YMM state support. Once the OS adds the necessary system level support, it can decide to create 64-bit distribution and 32-bit distributions. A 32-bit OS distribution with the required state support will allow software to use AVX.

The question of whether only newer 64/32 bit OS distribution will support AVX or any back-porting of XSAVE state support to older version is up to OS vendors/developers.

Irrespective whether you are using older hardware or older OS, you can get a head start with SDE from ISN's whatif download siteto start software development and have software ready when Sandy Bridge comes to market next year.

Hi Brijendar,
Are you sure? Here's what is written the document (AVX Programming Reference)


This document describes the software programming interfaces of several vector
SIMD instruction extensions of the Intel 64 architecture that will be introduced
starting with Intel 64 processors built on 32nm process technology. The instruction
set extensions covered in this document, with respect to availability in different
processor generations, is referred to by the following categories:

Hello Shih Kuo,

1. Forgive me if my understanding is wrong. Intel64 micro arch is only possible with a 64 bit processor.Onsuch a processor either a 32 bit OS or a 64 bit OS canbe run. Ona 32 bit OS onlya Win32 Build (x86 code)will be possible. On a 64 bit OS both a Win32 build and x64 build are possible.

2. Is it true that AVX will be supported on both a Win32 build (32 bit OS, 64 bit OS)as well as an x64 build (only 64 bit OS )provided we have a processor with Intel64 arch (which only a 64 bit processor can provide).

3. 32 bit processors will not be able to run AVX instructions because they do nothave Intel64 micro arch.

Black Belt
Perhaps it's no clearer to others than to me what you are getting at.
AVX instructions would be available in 32-bit mode, with the usual restrictions (8 xmm and ymm registers, not 16...). You may have a point if you are implying that such applications will not be as well tested as 64-bit ones.
It seems unlikely that many people would go to the effort of writing AVX-specific code with an additional limitation to 32-bit OS. Most people supporting 32-bit OS are doing it for the people who won't be willing to undergo hardware and software upgrades, such as adopting whichever version of Windows might introduce AVX support over a year from now. Are you planning to market an AVX platform with 32-bit OS installed, in the hope of developing an obscure corner of the market?