The function Take on multidimensional arrays can be an important utility for working with arrays that have an odd cell shape. For example, a sorting algorithm on 25-bit cells would be very hard to write, but it's fast to expand each cell to 32 bits, sort, and trim back to 25 bits.

When the argument and result cells fit in a machine word, Take performs an operation I call bit interleaving if the width increases, or bit uninterleaving if it decreases. That's because it inserts some number of zero bits between every few bits of `⥊𝕩`

, or undoes this process. Bit interleaving with nonzero bits might be used for `⍉𝕩`

when `≠𝕩`

is small, or `𝕩∾˘𝕨`

when both arguments have small cells.

**Careful!** A cell under 64 bits wide might not fit into any single machine word. For example, 57 bits starting at a 6-bit offset span 9 bytes. The first bit is bit 6 of byte 0, and the last is bit 0 of byte 8. Assuming the entire array is byte aligned, each cell always fits in a word for sizes ≤58, and 60. Cell sizes ≥61, and 59, might not. **Beware 59!**

Interleaving can be implemented with pdep, and uninterleaving with pext, in the BMI2 instructions. And these operations can be performed generically with a series of shifts and masks. Consider `7 ↑ 𝕩`

where a cell of `𝕩`

is 5 bits. Here are the input and expected result, labelling zeros with `.`

and argument bits with letters:

...................ABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE ...ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE

The number of cells that can be widened at a time is `⌊64÷7`

, or `9`

. In some cases I suppose it'd be possible to pack in one more by letting the leading zeros run past the top bit; that sounds complicated.

With the pdep instruction all we need to do is construct the appropriate mask indicating where the output cells should go. Let `K m`

be `(2⋆m)-1`

, that is, a number consisting of `m`

ones in binary. Then the appropriate mask is `(K 5) × (K 7×9) ÷ (K 7)`

. The mask `K 7×9`

has 9 groups of 7 1s, and division by `K 7`

converts each group to its bottom bit. Then multiplying by `K 5`

converts each bit to 5 of them.

Because interleaving and uninterleaving are useful even on short arrays, it's best to precompute the division `(K 7×9) ÷ (K 7)`

. Since `9`

was computed as `⌊64÷7`

, this value depends only on the width 7 so a table of 64 words is enough. And `7|64`

, which might be useful for alignment, can be computed from the word as `l¬7`

, where `l`

is the number of leading 0 bits. Other similar schemes are possible.

On generic hardware these operations take more work. If we have `n`

cells in a word (9 here), then it can be done with `⌈2⋆⁼n`

steps. Numbering the cells starting at 0 on the right (little-endian) and the steps *ending* at 0 for interleaving, step `j`

moves cells that have a 1 in bit position `j`

.

...................ABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE ...ABCDE................abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE ...ABCDE........abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE........abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE ...ABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE ...ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE

The amount to move is `2⋆j`

times the difference between the argument and result widths. To move the appropriate cells but not others, we need to blend with a mask, as in `(w<<sh &~ mask) | (w & mask)`

. To go backwards, shift first, like `(w &~ mask)>>sh | (w & mask)`

. Interleaving leaves some junk that needs to be cleared out with a final mask (same as the one used for pdep), and likewise uninterleaving requires the initial word to be cleaned with that mask. Here are the masks interleaved (heh) with results:

...................ABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE 0000000011111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 ...ABCDE................abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE 1111111100000000000000000000000000001111111111111111111111111111 ...ABCDE........abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE........abcdeABCDEabcdeABCDE 1111111100000000000000111111111111110000000000000011111111111111 ...ABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE....abcdeABCDE 0111111100000001111111000000011111110000000111111100000001111111 ...ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE..abcde..ABCDE 0001111100111110011111001111100111110011111001111100111110011111

The masks aren't very quick to generate, so it's best to do it once for all cells and save them. One way is to start with a mask `m`

of all ones, then repeatedly take `m ^ (m<<sh)`

with a series of shifts `sh`

that decrease by factors of 2.