A friendly introduction to the core concepts in the RISC-V “V” Vector Extension, version 1.0.
While the basic idea of vector processing is simple, the details can get complex. The purpose of this story is to explain the fundamental idea of vector processing and how that has been implemented in the RISC-V instruction-set architecture. I call this a “friendly” introduction but I must warn you that this stuff is still hard to grasp.
Vector processing is based on the idea of executing a single instruction on multiple elements of data in parallel. We refer to this concept as single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) usually contrasted with single-instruction single-data (SISD).