2018 Marked Another Interesting Year For The LLVM Project

Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 31 December 2018 at 01:57 PM EST. Add A Comment
Besides the many GNU toolchain highlights for the year, LLVM developers working on that compiler infrastructure stack, Clang C/C++ front-end, LLDB debugger, and numerous other sub-projects were as busy as ever advancing this open-source, cross-platform focused compiler.

LLVM saw two new major releases this year, an exploding number of more projects relying upon LLVM for various purposes, other LLVM-based compilers like Julia / Rust / FLANG advancing, more companies utilizing LLVM/Clang, new GNU alternative tools, and various innovative use-cases.

For a recap of the most popular milestones, below is a look at the twenty most popular LLVM articles on Phoronix for 2018.

One Of LLVM's Top Contributors Quits Development Over CoC, Outreach Program
Rafael Avila de Espindola is the fifth most active contributor to LLVM with more than 4,300 commits since 2006, but now he has decided to part ways with the project.

PostgreSQL Begins Landing LLVM JIT Support For Faster Performance
The widely-used PostgreSQL database software may soon become much faster thanks to a work-in-progress LLVM JIT back-end that has begun to land.

Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements - Possibly For The PlayStation 5
One of Sony's compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen "znver1" microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.

LLVM / Clang 6.0 Should Be Released Soon With Its Many New Features
LLVM 6 is running a few days behind scheduled for its release along with Clang 6 for the C/C++ compiler, but this latest big update to this open-source compiler stack should still be on the ways in the days ahead.

Intel Contributes Its Parallel STL Implementation To LLVM
A month ago there was word that Intel wanted to contribute their Parallel STL implementation for this C++17 functionality to GCC's libstdc++ and LLVM libc++. As a wonderful open-source Christmas present, Intel's Parallel STL implementation saw its initial commit now under the LLVM umbrella.

A Look At The Features Coming With LLVM 7.0 & Clang 7.0
It's running a few days late, but the LLVM 7.0 release along with sub-projects like Clang 7.0 should be released very soon. Here is a look at some of the features coming to this six-month compiler infrastructure update.

Julia 1.0 Programming Language Released
Julia, the LLVM-based, speed-focused, dynamic and optional typing, full-featured programming language focused on numerical computing has reached the version 1.0 milestone.

Zapcc Caching C++ Compiler Open-Sourced
Remember the Zapcc compiler that focused on lightning fast compiler times? It's now been open-sourced.

LLVM Still Proceeding With Their Code Relicensing
It's been three years since the original draft proposal for relicensing the LLVM compiler code was sent out and while there hasn't been a lot to report on recently about the effort, they are making progress and proceeding.

Some Compiler Performance Benchmarks With The Zapcc Caching Compiler
Here are some quick benchmarks I ran this week of the newly open-sourced Zapcc C++ caching compiler based upon LLVM/Clang and compared to the upstream Clang performance, GCC, and Ccache with the speed on the original compilation of the benchmark code and then again on a subsequent compilation.

LLVM 7.0 Released: Better CPU Support, AMDGPU Vega 20; Clang 7.0 Gets FMV & OpenCL C++
As anticipated, LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg announced the official availability today of LLVM 7.0 compiler stack as well as associated sub-projects including the Clang 7.0 C/C++ compiler front-end, Compiler-RT, libc++, libunwind, LLDB, and others.

LLVM Continues Working On Its Transition From SVN To Git
In addition to LLVM's multi-year effort on re-licensing their code, some developers also remain hard at work on officially migrating the project from an SVN development workflow to Git.

LLVM 6.0 Released With C++14 Default, Intel/AMD Scheduling Improvements
Today marks the long-awaited release of LLVM 6.0 as the slightly late half-year update to this open-source compiler stack and its sub-projects like Clang, LLD, etc.

LLVM 6.0.1 Released
Tom Stellard at Red Hat has continued with his duties of serving as the LLVM point release manager and today formally issued the LLVM 6.0.1 update.

Release Planning Is Underway For LLVM 7.0, Shipping In September
Continuing LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg has begun discussing plans for the upcoming LLVM 7.0 release.

Glow: An LLVM Optimizing Compiler For Neural Networks
The latest interesting use of the LLVM compiler infrastructure stack is for Glow, a machine learning / neural network optimizing compiler.

LLVM's Codebase Will Likely Move To C++17 Next Year
While LLVM's Clang compiler already supports C++17, what this change is about is the LLVM code itself and for sub-projects like Clang can begin making use of C++17 code itself. This in turn ups the requirements for being able to compile the code-base.

LLVM-Strip Introduced As An Alternative To GNU Strip
LLVM-Strip is the newest tool added to mainline LLVM.

LLVM 7.0 Is Ready For Release
The LLVM/Clang 7.0 release had been running a bit behind schedule and warranted a third release candidate, but this week LLVM 7.0.0 is now ready to ship.

LLVM Developers Are Still Working On Their Massive Relicensing Effort
It's been over three years since the original proposal for re-licensing the LLVM compiler infrastructure and while they have reached community consensus on their new "Apache 2.0 with LLVM Exception" license, there's still a big task at hand of getting all past contributors signing off on the process.
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Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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