Abstract

Confocal microscopy and white-light interferometry are two promising methods for the three-dimensional microstructure analysis of technical and biologic specimens. For both methods the specimen is scanned through the focus position by means of an actuator. A large series of intensity frames is acquired. These data are used for the final calculation of the topography. We demonstrate that the multimedia extended (MMX) instruction set, which is implemented in modern Intel microprocessors, can be used for effective real-time preprocessing and for fast evaluation algorithms. So this new technique enables the implementation of more-complex algorithms with acceptable run times even on standard computer technology. The possibilities of the MMX instruction set are discussed for confocal microscopy and for white-light interferometry.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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