Intel Looks To Make Large Contribution To GCC
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 10 April 2009 at 10:58 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Intel contributes quite a bit to the development of X.Org and the Linux kernel, through a number of Intel employees working on Linux full-time, making hardware contributions, etc. Up until recently, Intel even had its own Linux distribution (Moblin) for their Atom hardware. One area, however, where Intel has not been a major contributor is with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) considering they have long preferred their own high-performance Intel Compiler (ICC). That's not to say Intel hasn't made any contributions towards this critical piece of free software, but AMD and others have been more involved with GCC while Intel worked on its non-free ICC package. It looks though like things could be changing.

Melanie Blower, an Intel employee, has announced herself to GCC and requested the FSF-approved legal paperwork that's needed for copyright assignment. As Melanie explains, "the FSF prefers that a contributor files a copyright assignment for large contributions." Beyond GCC she also looks to contribute to binutils, gdb, and glibc as an Intel employee. She also has two Intel colleagues that will be joining her in this open-source endeavor.

While the two other Intel engineers looking to contribute to GCC have not yet been acknowledged, Melanie Blower appears to have an extensive background in compilers and has written a few going back to the ADA programming language. As of six months ago, one of her web-pages explains she is "working on a C compiler for Intel network processors."

What will Intel be doing to GCC? Only time will tell, but considering the number of Intel technologies on the horizon, any large contribution(s) should be interesting and appreciated by the free software community.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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