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Hello all, I work at Intel in the software performance libraries group and wanted to solicit your opinions on a project we're considering. My goal here is not to sell you anything and I won't even mention our product names.
We have a C library that's highly optimized for all new Intel (and compatible processors) with particularly deep content in the image processing and image compression domains. We have had some customers combine portions of our library with GraphicsMagick for higher performance. We're considering formalizing this approach and wanted to see how strong the interest is in this community. Since the library we have is not open source we realize that many of you will not be interested and we understand that perspective. Perhaps someday we will open source this library like we have many other projects, but that step is not in the cards for the immediate future.
What we're proposing is to offer example code that would allow you to link a portion of our library into GraphicsMagick to improve performance. If it wouldn't violate any licenses, we may also distribute ready to run binaries of GraphicsMagick incorporating our library.
Please let me know what you think of this proposal and if you have any questions. If you'd rather not post in this forum, I can also be reached at email@example.com.
Thanks very much for your time and attention.
This is an interesting development. An obvious performance problem is the JPEG library (which Intel has a solution for). When JPEG is used, it tends to dominate the overall processing time.
I can only say that libpng's experience with Intel was extremely disappointing. We were donated MMX code which took us (mostly Greg Roelofs) several years to get debugged and working to our satisfaction, then realized that the Intel license would not actually let us distribute it. Intel corp would not answer email about it (we didn't pursue that very diligently, just expected an answer to several inquiries and got none), so eventually removed the offending code which at that point was about 30 percent of libpng's lines of code. The author of the MMX code seemed to have disappeared. I think the last communication from him was that as far as he was concerned we could use it.
I certainly don't have any intention to make GraphicsMagick depend on proprietary code, but Intel can certainly do so itself and distribute the result to their customers in compliance with the MIT license and any other applicable licenses. I would not want to discourage them from doing so. If Intel was to contribute a copy of their C/C++ compiler and VTune then I could make sure that GraphicsMagick works as well as possible with their compiler under Windows, at no extra charge.