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Note: The Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manual consists of five volumes: Basic Architecture, Order Number 253665; Instruction Set Reference A-M, Order Number 253666; Instruction Set Reference N-Z, Order Number 253667; System Programming Guide, Part 1, Order Number 253668; System Programming Guide, Part 2, Order Number 253669. Refer to all five volumes when evaluating your design needs.


The notations introduced in this section are referenced in the reference pages of PCMPESTRI, PCMPESTRM, PCMPISTRI, PCMPISTRM. The operation of the immediate control byte is common to these four string text processing instructions of SSE4.2. This section describes the common operations.

4.1.1 General Description

The operation of PCMPESTRI, PCMPESTRM, PCMPISTRI, PCMPISTRM is defined by the combination of the respective opcode and the interpretation of an immediate control byte that is part of the instruction encoding.

The opcode controls the relationship of input bytes/words to each other (determines whether the inputs terminated strings or whether lengths are expressed explicitly) as well as the desired output (index or mask). The Imm8 Control Byte for PCMPESTRM/PCMPESTRI/PCMPISTRM/PCMPISTRI encodes a significant amount of programmable control over the functionality of those instructions. Some functionality is unique to each instruction while some is common across some or all of the four instructions. This section describes functionality which is common across the four instructions.

The arithmetic flags (ZF, CF, SF, OF, AF, PF) are set as a result of these instructions. However, the meanings of the flags have been overloaded from their typical meanings in order to provide additional information regarding the relationships of the two inputs.

PCMPxSTRx instructions perform arithmetic comparisons between all possible pairs of bytes or words, one from each packed input source operand. The boolean results of those comparisons are then aggregated in order to produce meaningful results. The Imm8 Control Byte is used to affect the interpretation of individual input elements as well as control the arithmetic comparisons used and the specific aggregation scheme.

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