This guide introduces Arm Neon technology, the Advanced SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) architecture extension for implementation of the Armv8–A or Armv8–R architecture profiles.

Neon technology provides a dedicated extension to the Instruction Set Architecture, providing additional instructions that can perform mathematical operations in parallel on multiple data streams.

Single instruction, multiple data Architecture.

This can improve the multimedia user experience by accelerating audio and video encoding/decoding, user interface, 2D/3D graphics or gaming. Neon can also accelerate signal processing algorithms and functions to speed up applications such as audio and video processing, voice and facial recognition, computer vision and deep learning.

As a programmer, there are a number of ways you can make use of Neon technology:

  • Neon-enabled open source libraries such as the Arm Compute Library provide one of the easiest ways to take advantage of Neon.
  • Auto-vectorization features in your compiler can automatically optimize your code to take advantage of Neon.
  • Neon intrinsics are function calls that the compiler replaces with appropriate Neon instructions. This gives you direct, low-level access to the exact Neon instructions you want, all from C/C++ code.
  • For very high performance, hand-coded Neon assembler can be an alternative approach for experienced programmers.