# Optimization Towards an Optimal VEX-SSE 3*3*float Matrix Transpose

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Hi all,

More than a decade ago, a problem came up on this forum for computing a fast transpose of a 3x3 matrix using SSE. The most sensible implementation stores the matrix internally as a 3x4 matrix (so, one row stores 4 elements, aligned in a vector). A version, which I believe to be the fastest currently known, was presented:

On 6/27/2005 at 9:20 PM, ajas95 said:

// input xyz in xmm5,7,6
// output in xmm0,1,7
movaps	xmm0,	xmm7		   // xmm0 : ?? z1 y1 x1
movaps	xmm1,	xmm5		   // xmm1 : ?? z0 y0 x0
unpcklps xmm0,	xmm5		   // xmm0 : y1 y0 x1 x0
unpckhps xmm7,	xmm5		   // xmm7 : ?? ?? z1 z0
movhlps	xmm1,	xmm0		   // xmm1 : ?? z1 y1 y0
shufps	xmm7,	xmm6,	11100100b  // xmm7 : ?? z2 z1 z0
movlhps	xmm0,	xmm6		   // xmm0 : ?? x2 x1 x0
shufps	xmm1,	xmm6,	01010100b  // xmm1 : ?? y2 y1 y0



(P.S. If anyone has a faster way, I'd love to hear it. This uses 5 registers, and so destroys one of the inputs. Still, it's a great problem for people that are into this sort of thing).

I am pleased to report that I have been able to come up with a version which should be faster:

inline void transpose(__m128& A, __m128& B, __m128& C) {
//Input rows in __m128& A, B, and C.  Output in same.
__m128 T0 = _mm_unpacklo_ps(A,B);
__m128 T1 = _mm_unpackhi_ps(A,B);
A = _mm_movelh_ps(T0,C);
B = _mm_shuffle_ps( T0,C, _MM_SHUFFLE(3,1,3,2) );
C = _mm_shuffle_ps( T1,C, _MM_SHUFFLE(3,2,1,0) );
}

This should be 5 instructions instead of ajas95's 8 instructions. Of course, to get that level of performance with either version, you need to inline everything, or else you spend tons of time on moving floating point arguments to/from input registers.

The other thing that is crucial is that the instruction set be VEX encoded. This allows generating instructions that take three arguments, like vunpcklps, instead of instructions like unpcklps that take only two. VEX is only available in AVX and higher (usually passing e.g. -mavx is sufficient to get the compiler to generate VEX instructions).

-G

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