GCC 14 Shifts From Feature Development To "General Bugfixing" Mode

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 20 November 2023 at 06:02 AM EST. 2 Comments
Feature development on GCC 14 is now largely over with today marking the start of their stage three of development that is the "general bugfixing mode" and moving past new features for this next annual GNU Compiler Collection release.

The exception for this transition to GCC 14 stage 3 development is still allowing larger changes to land that were posted for mailing list review prior to the end of stage 1. So we may still see some work land such as the recently posted more Intel APX features. Aside from the changes still undergoing review, no big ticket features are expected to be merged during this bug fixing stage of development. As we saw last year during GCC 13 stage 3 with AMD Zen 4 (znver4) finally making it out, new CPU targets could still be added during this late stage. However, this time around it's not clear that AMD Zen 4 (znver5) will make it for GCC 14.

While the upstream GCC compiler already has initial support for Granite Rapids, Sierra Forest, Grand Ridge, Lunar Lake, etc, with Intel plumbing their new CPU ISA capabilities early and working heavily on AVX10, APX, etc, AMD isn't as ambitious with early compiler upstreaming. They've been (unfortunately) adding new Zen versions only post-launch to GCC (and Clang) that is a pity given the annual release cadence for major GCC versions and Linux distributions not quickly shifting to new versions. With no Zen 5 CPU launches expected before GCC 14.1 ships in the early months of 2024, it's thus unlikely to see znver5 arrive for this version unless there is a change in compiler enablement positioning at AMD.

GCC 14

GCC 14 has a lot of new features when it comes to all the upcoming Intel CPU generations, Zhaoxxin Yongfeng support was finally upstreamed, honoring of the -std=c23 and -std=gnu23 compiler options for C23, initial work on what may be IBM POWER11, a software workaround to avoid the Intel Downfall performance hit, RISC-V Vector crypto extension support, MIPS16e2 ISA support, initial -std=c++26 preparations, and much more.

With stage 3 now in place, today's status report shows GCC 14 is currently at 30 known P1 regressions of the highest priority. Another 499 P2 regressions and 244 P3 regressions. The P1 regressions are what ultimately need to be fixed (or demoted) before GCC 14 will be able to release as GCC 14.1 stable in the early months of next year. If traditions hold look for GCC 14.1 to make it out in March~April.
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