sfmt-erlang: SIMD-oriented Fast Mersenne Twister (SFMT) for Erlang


sfmt-erlang: SIMD-oriented Fast Mersenne Twister (SFMT) for Erlang

  • Version 0.13.0 10-FEB-2016
  • Edited and written by Kenji Rikitake (Kenji Rikitake Professional Engineer's Office)
  • Email contact: kenji.rikitake@acm.org

Travis CI build status for the master branch

Build Status


Copyright (c) 2010-2017 Kenji Rikitake and Kyoto University. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2006,2007 Mutsuo Saito, Makoto Matsumoto and Hiroshima University. All rights reserved.

See the file LICENSE for the license (new/simplified BSD license).

Details of SFMT algorithm

This software is based on SFMT ver. 1.3.3 (SIMD oriented Fast Mersenne Twister(SFMT)) by Mutsuo Saito (Hiroshima University) and Makoto Matsumoto (Hiroshima University). See http://www.math.sci.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/~m-mat/MT/SFMT/index.html for the further details.

Note well: only (2^19937 - 1) period is supported.

Available modules

  • module sfmt: SFMT with C NIFs
  • module sfmt_pure: SFMT with pure Erlang
  • See CHANGES.md for the detail of miscellaneous changes


  • Compiler requirement: C99 support (modern Clang and gcc will do): <inttypes.h> required
  • See c_src/sfmt_nif.c for the details
  • Also refer to sfmt-extstate at http://github.com/jj1bdx/sfmt-extstate
  • The version number of this NIF is 101 (see NIF_LOAD_INFO macro value)

Tested platforms

  • FreeBSD/amd64 11.1-PRERELEASE with Erlang/OTP 20.0
  • macOS 10.12.5 with Erlang/OTP 20.0

Make options (of erlang.mk)

  • Makefile works on both BSD/GNU make
  • Makefile.sfmt is the real GNU make file; edit this file for modification
  • Building: make
  • C NIF Documentation: make c_doc (requires Doxygen or later)
  • Erlang Documentation: make docs
  • Testing: make tests
  • Execution speed benchmark: make speed
  • See also erlang.mk for the details

hex.pm support

  • NIF building errors fixed (0.12.7 and later)
  • Package name: sfmt
  • See mix.exs
  • Note: all builds including C and Erlang source compilation are done with make with erlang.mk

API compatible with the rand module

seed/3, uniform/0, uniform/1, uniform_s/1, uniform_s/3 

On HiPE usage

  • sfmt module is NIFnized so does not coexist with HiPE
  • On the other hand, sfmt_pure module can be compiled with HiPE or +native "+{hipe, [o3]}" erlc compile option, which will result in 40% to 100% speedup on 64-bit machines


  • No more new feature; more load testing needed
  • More documentation
  • Code upgrading/reloading behavior check

Code authors:

  • Kenji Rikitake
  • Mutsuo Saito
  • Makoto Matsumoto
  • Dan Gudmundsson
  • Michael Truog
  • Michael Chmielewski
  • David Whitlock
  • Pierre Fenoll


  • Dave "dizzyd" Smith
  • Tuncer Ayaz
  • Tim Bates (random_mt.erl implementator of Mersenne Twister)
  • Richard O'Keefe
  • Yurii Rashkovskii
  • Kostis Sagonas
  • Michael Gebetsroither
  • Shunichi Shinohara
  • Loïc Hoguin
  • @timCF of GitHub


During the compatibility test of this software, Kenji Rikitake used the supercomputer service provided by Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies (ACCMS), Kyoto University.

Erlang Solutions kindly gave Kenji Rikitake an opportunity to give a presentation about this software at Erlang Factory SF Bay 2011.

Pepabo R&D Institute of GMO Pepabo, Inc. kindly gives the financial support for this project.