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Dart VM Uses More CPU Features for Faster Performance

The Dart VM, a new virtual machine that runs Dart code, can now take advantage of SIMD instruction sets found in common CPUs. This means that Dart apps, when running in the Dart VM, can perform significantly faster for some algorithms. Code written with the new SIMD APIs still compiles to JavaScript, but won't see the same speed boost.

Are you using all of the CPU?

SIMD stands for Single Instruction Multiple Data, and is a set of CPU instructions for computing multiple results in parallel. The Dart SIMD APIs allow you to add, subtract, multiply, and divide four numbers at the same time. SIMD is widely used in games, 3D graphics applications, and more.

John McCutchan, Developer Programs Engineer on Dart, recently landed the changes with help from the Dart VM team. Watch John's talk from SFHTML5, and learn about his background optimizing console games, his journey to the web, and his quest to help web apps use all the CPU. The slides are also available.

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Posted by Seth Ladd

(This is an "oldie but a goodie" misc@dartlang.org post originally written by Bob Nystrom. It is being posted here as the explanations still ring true.)

Bob writes:


"static", "final", and "const" mean entirely distinct things in Dart:

"static" means a member is available on the class itself instead of on instances of the class. That's all it means, and it isn't used for anything else. static modifies *members*.

"final" means single-assignment: a final variable or field *must* have an initializer. Once assigned a value, a final variable's value cannot be changed. final modifies *variables*.

"const" has a meaning that's a bit more complex and subtle in Dart. const modifies *values*. You can use it when creating collections, like const [1, 2, 3], and when constructing objects (instead of new) like const Point(2, 3). Here, const means that the object's entire deep state can be determ…