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ARM Guide to OpenCL Optimizing Convolution: Optimization Process

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This chapter describes some of the useful optimization methods, the logic for them, and the results they provide on the test platform.

Not all methods that provide a performance gain are obvious.

The built-in function library and arithmetic simplification

The reference implementation contains some avoidable arithmetic and load/store instructions. You can improve performance by removing these instructions.

In the reference code there are some redundant arithmetic expressions that are computed three times. The following code shows the repeated expressions.

// xPx + scanLine is computed three times

srcRedCh = (short)*(src + xPx + scanline);
srcGreenCh = (short)*(src + xPx + 1 + scanline);
srcBlueCh = (short)*(src + xPx + 2 + scanline);

// x*3 + y*strideByte is computed three times
// Store result in destination image
*(dst + x*3 + y*strideByte) = (uchar)dstRedCh;
*(dst + x*3 + 1 + y*strideByte) = (uchar)dstGreenCh;
*(dst + x*3 + 2 + y*strideByte) = (uchar)dstBlueCh;

Reorganize the code to avoid performing the same computation more than once. This kind of optimization strategy is general and can be used on the application processor code as well.

To further speed up arithmetic instructions, OpenCL provides several functions called built-in CL functions included in a Built-In Function Library (BIFL), most of these are hardware accelerated, and many of these are optimized.

For example, it is better to use the BIFL clamp() instead of using the C function clamp_0_255(). The following code shows the change from C function to BIFL function.

Using C functions:

// Clamp values between [0-255]
dstRedCh = clamp_0_255(dstRedCh);
dstGreenCh = clamp_0_255(dstGreenCh);
dstBlueCh = clamp_0_255(dstBlueCh);

Using BIFL functions:

// Clamp values between [0-255]
dstRedCh = clamp(dstRedCh, (short)0, (short)255);       // Built-in OpenCL function (BIFL)
dstGreenCh = clamp(dstGreenCh, (short)0, (short)255);   // Built-in OpenCL function (BIFL)
dstBlueCh = clamp(dstBlueCh, (short)0, (short)255);     // Built-in OpenCL function (BIFL)

Note: See for more information on the BIFL clamp() function.

To take this further, perform clamping as part of the conversion from short to char using a saturate conversion. The following code shows the result. For more detail see, ...