LLVM Offers New Clang With SAFECode Technology
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 18 August 2011 at 11:59 AM EDT. 2 Comments
The Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) developers have released a new version of their Clang C/C++ compiler. What's new to this Clang release, which comes months after the 2.9 release of LLVM and Clang, is that it integrates SAFECode Technology. SAFECode provides memory safety checking, which LLVM developers designed to be superior to Valgrind -- the tool commonly used by open-source developers for running memory checks on their code.

Over Valgrind, LLVM developers say that SAFECode in Clang is faster since it doesn't rely upon dynamic binary translation, is more accurate, and provides better error diagnostics with useful information about each memory safety violation.

This current release detects de-references of pointers that are generated from buffer overflows. Additionally, working its way into Clang mainline is support for detecting invalid memory access, invalid calls to free(), usage of un-initalized pointers, memory errors by the misuse of the C standard library functions, and several options.

SAFECode can be activated in Clang by a command-line switch, otherwise this open-source C/C++ compiler works in its normal manner without the memory checking support.

More details can be found in the release announcement of the new Clang with SAFECode.

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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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