C11 Atomic Support Appears Ready For GCC
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 5 November 2013 at 09:46 PM EST. 1 Comment
Joseph Myers of CodeSourcery has proposed a patch based upon a GCC branch to now mainline support for C11 _Atomic in the GNU Compiler Collection.

C11 had finally brought a standardized interface for dealing with fine-grained atomic operations for lock-less concurrent programming. The _Atomic support is one of the big improvements in C11 over C99 in allowing for better multi-threading support for uninterruptive object access. Code for _Atomic in GCC has been baking for a while in a c11-atomic branch, and some atomic operations support landed in GCC 4.7, but now it appears _Atomic is ready for mainline.

Myers wrote in a new mailing list message, "This patch, relative to trunk and based on work done on the C11-atomic branch, adds support for C11 _Atomic. It is intended to include all the required language support." While the language support is there, still to be firmed up is the stdatomic.h header file for mainline. Another shortcoming is that the _Atomic support is disabled for GCC's Objective-C and OpenMP support right now.

For those interested in more details on the proposed GCC _Atomic support for C11, see the aforelinked mailing list message. More details as well can be found via the GCC Wiki. The current GCC C11 status can be found via this Wiki page. The C11 _Atomic support should be hopefully merged soon thus making it a feature in GCC 4.9.

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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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