GCC 4.7 Release Candidate 1 Offers Many Changes
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 3 March 2012 at 07:27 AM EST. 2 Comments
Just as expected, the first release candidate of GCC 4.7 is now available for testing. This major update to the GNU Compiler Collection introduces several new language features, hardware support improvements, and other support enhancements to the GPLv3-licensed compiler.

Richard Guenther announced GCC 4.7 RC1 shortly after branching the 4.7 release series and then opening up trunk to GCC 4.8 development. The brief release announcement can be found on the GCC mailing list. Richard is hoping to release GCC 4.7 final in the next three weeks.

In terms of hardware improvements for GCC 4.7, there's noticeable work on the AMD x86 support, better support for Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs (AVX, rdrand / Bull Mountain, etc), initial Intel Haswell CPU support (AVX2, FMA, BMI1, BMI2, etc), and various work on the ARM SoCs for the ARMv7 architecture such as the ARM Cortex-A7.

On the language side, there's better support for Google Go, more feature support for C11, better C++11 support, improved libstdc++ support for C++11, and much more. There's also version 3.1 of the OpenMP specification for C, C++, and Fortran compilers. The C++11 (C++0x) support is still considered experimental within GCC.

Some other highlights for GCC 4.7 include initial support for transactional memory in C, link-time optimization (LTO) improvements, several new compiler options, inter-procedural optimization improvements, and more.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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