This guide summarizes the important differences between coding for the Scalable Vector Extension (SVE) and coding for Neon. For users who have already ported their applications to Armv8-A Neon hardware, the guide also highlights the key differences to consider when porting an application to SVE.

Arm Neon technology is the Advanced Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) feature for the Armv8-A architecture profile. Neon is a feature of the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), providing instructions that can perform mathematical operations in parallel on multiple data streams.

SVE is the next-generation SIMD extension of the Armv8-A instruction set. It is not an extension of Neon, but is a new set of vector instructions that were developed to target HPC workloads. In short, SVE enables vectorization of loops which would be impossible, or not beneficial, to vectorize with Neon. Importantly, and unlike other SIMD architectures, SVE can be Vector Length Agnostic (VLA). VLA means that the size of the vector registers is not fixed. Instead, hardware implementors are free to choose the size that works best for the intended workloads.

At the end of this guide, you can Check your knowledge. You will have learned the fundamental differences between SVE and Neon, including register types, predicating instructions, and Vector Length Agnostic programming.