LLVM Clang 3.4 Is On Track To Arrive This Month
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 2 December 2013 at 05:04 PM EST. Add A Comment
LLVM 3.4 should be released before the month's end with a matching update to the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end and other LLVM sub-projects like DragonEgg and Compiler-RT.

LLVM 3.4 is tentatively scheduled to be released right before Christmas. At the moment there's no indications of any delays, but we have seen LLVM releases slip before -- generally though by just a couple days.

Among the highlights you can look forward to with LLVM 3.4 include:

- The AMD "R600" LLVM GPU back-end is no longer experimental and now built by default. This AMD GPU LLVM back-end is required for the open-source OpenCL support, optionally as a shader back-end for R600g hardware, and is required for any RadeonSI-based GPU (Radeon HD 7000 series and newer).

- Besides no longer being experimental, the R600 back-end has a ton of improvements for LLVM 3.4 so that there can be OpenGL 3.0 compliance and other new functionality. There's also new GPU support like for AMD Sea Islands.

- Greater use of the Loop Vectorizer. The LLVM Loop Vectorizer is now used at -O2 and -Os levels (beyond the -O3 optimization level).

- The SLP Vectorizer is turned on by default for the -O3 optimization level.

- Dropped support for older Visual Studio releases. This is also likely the last release where LLVM will build under a C++98 compiler as after the 3.4 release, they want to take advantage of C++11.

- Improved 64-bit ARM support.

- LLDB debugger improvements, including better Linux compatibility.

- Clang-cl improvements in imitating Microsoft's Visual Studio.

- LLVM-ar now uses the new object library and produces archives / symbol tables in the GNU format.

- Different sized pointers for different address spaces should now to boost LLVM GPU targets.

- The OCaml bindings should now cover nearly all LLVM libraries.

- Support for the MIPS SIMD architecture (MSA) has been added.

I have already delivered some LLVM/Clang 3.4 compiler benchmarks but updated results will be out later in the month. Overall LLVM/Clang 3.4 should be some nice competition for the featureful GCC 4.9 release due in early 2014.
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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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