Developer Guide

Contents

Operating on Denormals

The IEEE 754-2008 standard, "An IEEE Standard for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic", defines
denormal
(or
subnormal
) numbers as non-zero numbers smaller than the smallest possible normalized numbers for a specific floating-point format. Floating-point operations on denormals are slower than on normalized operands because denormal operands and results are usually handled through a software assist mechanism rather than directly in hardware. This software processing causes
Intel® MKL
functions that consume denormals to run slower than with normalized floating-point numbers.
You can mitigate this performance issue by setting the appropriate bit fields in the MXCSR floating-point control register to flush denormals to zero (FTZ) or to replace any denormals loaded from memory with zero (DAZ). Check your compiler documentation to determine whether it has options to control FTZ and DAZ. Note that these compiler options may slightly affect accuracy.

Product and Performance Information

1

Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804