In this guide, we show you how to write efficient code that can be used for signal and image processing, neural networks, or game applications.

We develop an Android app that uses native C++ code to perform signal processing. While we do this, we show how easily you can combine Java with native code to perform computation-intensive work.

Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) architectures allow you to parallelize code execution. SIMD allows you to perform the same operation on an entire sequence, or vector, of data during one instruction. This means that you can use SIMD to significantly improve the performance of your Android mobile or IoT apps.

Processor manufacturers provide tools to make SIMD optimizations easily accessible for developers. Arm Neon intrinsics are built-in functions that you can access from C/C++ code. The compiler replaces these functions with assembly instructions that closely map C/C++ code. As demonstrated in this guide, you can use Neon intrinsics to easily vectorize your code with just a few changes.

We will create an Android app that uses Neon intrinsics to process a 1D signal. The signal is the sine wave with added random noise. It shows how to implement the truncate thresholding and convolution of that signal. Thresholding is usually the first step in various image-processing algorithms, while convolution is the primary signal and image-processing tool.

At the end of this guide, you can Check your knowledge. You will know how to use Neon intrinsics for Arm-powered mobile devices.

Before you begin

There are a few things that you need to be familiar with before you work through this guide.

We discuss truncation and convolution in this guide. If you are not familiar with these concepts, here is a short introduction:

Truncate: To truncate something is to shorten it or cut part of it off. In computer science, the term is often used about data types or variables, like floating-point numbers and strings. For example, a function may truncate the decimal portion of a floating-point number to make it an integer.

Convolution: In computer science, specifically formal languages, convolution is a function which maps a tuple of sequences into a sequence of tuples. Convolution is sometimes called zip. The name zip comes from the action of a zipper, which interleaves two formerly separate sequences.

Android Studio is used for thresholding, and the code is tested on a Samsung SM-J710F phone. The full source code is available from the GitHub repository.

We also recommend that you read our guide Getting started with Neon Intrinsics on Android before reading this guide. In that guide it showed how to set up Android Studio to use Arm Neon intrinsics for Android applications.

The following diagram is what you should see in your set up for truncating and convolution in Android Studio:

Truncation 1

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