Intel software products help accelerate development of efficient program code, which takes advantage of the performance potential of the Intel Atom processor. In some scenarios, advanced compiler technologies or optimized off-the-shelf libraries are insufficient to meet extreme performance requirements such as signal processing tasks. In those cases, the extra effort of creating hand-optimized routines may be justified and necessary to maximize performance.

This white paper describes a real life project, where simple but common types of digital filters, FIR filters, were optimized for Intel Atom processors. Key architectural features of the Intel Atom processors are outlined, such as SIMD, memory alignment and in-order execution. Also included is an explanation of optimization Best Known Methods (BKMs), which were applied to achieve a FIR filter throughput which is within a few percent of the theoretical limit of the Intel Atom processor.