1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

GCC 4.6 Brings Intel Optimizations, AVX, Improvements

Compiler

Published on 26 March 2011 09:29 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler
6 Comments

While no release announcement has yet to hit the wire, GCC 4.6.0 is now available. Uploaded to the GCC mirrors yesterday afternoon was the GCC 4.6.0 final source packages, right ahead of their planned release which is/was expected to be around Monday. It was only earlier this month that the first release candidate arrives, but this is one rather nice update to the GNU Compiler Collection.

When it comes to GCC 4.6 and hardware, on the embedded front this open-source compiler now supports the ARM Cortex-M4, basic support for the Cortex-A15, and various other ARM improvements and optimizations. There's also (finally) Intel Core 2 optimizations for GCC that can be tapped using core2 with the mtune and march options. At the same time there's also optimizations for first-generation Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs using the corei7 tuning option.

Making this release even better are optimizations already for Intel's recently released second-generation Core "Sandy Bridge" CPUs that feature support for the AVX (Advanced Vector eXtensions) instruction set. Those optimizations can be tapped in GCC 4.6 using the corei7-avx value. There's also greater AVX support in GCC 4.6.0 in general via AVX floating-point math support. We recently looked at and benchmarked AVX support in GCC using the new Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs. AMD's Bulldozer CPUs later this year will also possess support for AVX. On the AMD side, GCC 4.6 has support for AMD Bobcat CPUs via btver1 and there's also now support for AMD BMI (Bit Manipulation) functions and code generation.

Aside from hardware improvements in this major GCC update, GCC 4.6 now has support for Google's Android Bionic C library. This means GCC can build native libraries and applications for Google's Android platform, but currently this is only working for the ARM-based version of Android.

Not only is Android getting some love in GCC 4.6, but Google's Go is now supported in GCC. The Go programming language is disabled by default, but support can be enabled for building it with GCC 4.6.

Code/language changes in GCC 4.6 include improved support for the experimental C++0x standard, experimental support for some features of the upcoming C1X revision to the C language, initial support for ADA 2012, inter-procedural optimization improvements, link-time optimization improvements, and a new general optimization level (-Ofast).

The full list of changes for GCC 4.6.0 can be found on this GNU.org page. You can find GCC 4.6 right now on GCC mirrors such as at FU Berlin.

GCC 4.6.0 is not the default compiler for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release, but it will be in Red Hat's Fedora 15. I've been running some GCC 4.6 benchmarks versus GCC 4.5.2 along with LLVM 2.9 SVN and the LLVM Clang compiler and LLVM's DragonEgg optimizer for GCC. Those benchmarks should be on Phoronix this coming Monday. LLVM 2.9 is scheduled for release in early April.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  2. Imagination Releases Full ISA Documentation For PowerVR Rogue GPUs
  3. Features GNOME Developers Want In The Linux Kernel
  4. GTK+ Gains Experimental Overlay Scrollbars
  5. Phoronix Test Suite 5.4 M3 Is Another Hearty Update
  6. GParted 0.20 Improves Btrfs Support
  7. EXT4 In Linux 3.18 Has Clean-ups, Bug Fixes
  8. Emacs 24.4 Has Built-In Web Browser, Improved Multi-Monitor Support
  9. NVIDIA's NVPTX Support For GCC Is Close To Being Merged
  10. KDE's KWin On Wayland Begins Using Libinput
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  2. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  3. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  6. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  7. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  8. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance