AVX stands for Advanced Vector Extension which, translated into our language, means advanced vector extensions. What we are talking about is a set of instructions that are used as an extension of those that are of the IA-32 (x86) type with which Intel and AMD processors interact long after their manufacturers noticed how they worked with MMX and AMD64 .
AVX has the main function of improving efficiency when performing vector calculations , specializing in floating point. Also, thanks to the implementation of a new instruction and coding system, everything runs much faster than its predecessors.
This means that instructions are carried out in vectors ranging from 128 to 156 bits wide. This allows them to be compatible with SSE instructions and also allows the scheme to be used in the VEX operands which allows multi-threaded processors to work more efficiently.
It is important to clarify that a processor is a set of transistors that are capable of executing all kinds of instructions at different speeds according to their capacity and always depending on the instructions that it has programmed inside. The function of AVX, mainly, is to contribute its grain of sand for its correct operation, especially in what has to do with vectors.
What are processor instructions?
Processor instructions are called all those operations that are basic and that they can perform by themselves when they have enough data through their programming and/or manipulation. This group of instructions is what determines and manages all kinds of information that can be executed. The main instructions that are known are logic and arithmetic.
What is AVX used for?
To make a summary about AVX, we can say that it was in charge of collaborating with the instruction sets of the processors manufactured by Intel during the first ten years of the 21st century. Its applications focus mainly on everything that has to do with multimedia. This means that, today, they have become indispensable for home or office computers, especially if they are used for drawing, 3D tracing or working with audio and/or video.
AVX and its other versions
In addition to AVX, there are also two other similar vectors today: AVX2 and AVX-512.
AVX2 is the oldest one that has been used since 2013 and presents great novelties in the way in which the processor makes the components that are inside the vectors work. Also, the instructions are extended to 256 bits if they are based on SSE and AVX as well.