The New Compiler Features & Changes Of GCC 8

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 22 November 2017 at 06:27 AM EST. 2 Comments
With GCC 8 feature development over and onto bug fixing, here is a look at some of the changes to find with the GCC 8 compiler stack that will be released as stable early next year in the form of GCC 8.1.

The official GCC 8 changes documentation remains quite bare but will be filled in by GNU Compiler Collection developers as the update nears. But in our original reporting and monitoring of GCC 8 development, some of the highlights we have to share include:

- More tuning of AMD znver1 support for yielding better performance on Ryzen / Threadripper / EPYC processors.

- Cannonlake support, the next-gen Intel CPU succeeding Coffee Lake / Kaby Lake Refresh. Exciting from the compiler side is all "Core" Cannonlake CPUs should support AVX-512.

- Initial support for Intel Icelake, the CPU generation to succeed next year's Cannonlake. This includes GFNI instructions and more.

- Intel CET support: Control-flow Enforcement Technology for better security.

- Qualcomm Saphira CPU support. Qualcomm Saphira is the next-gen core succeeding the current generation Falkor core found within the new Centriq SoCs.

- C17 language support.

- Initial work towards C++20 / C++2A.

- ARMv8-R support. This subset of the ARMv8 architecture is intended for real-time applications and safety-critical environments like automotive and industrial control and aviation.

- There's also been additional ARM tuning for the newer Cortex processors.

- Greater OpenACC 2.5 support.

- Updated Golang, the Go programming language support found within GCC.

- Continued improvements for AMD HSA IL / BRIG support.

- Cilk Plus is being removed.

- Significant improvements to the Nios II compiler back-end.

If there are any other interesting GCC 8 changes I missed out on, feel free to point them out in the forums. I'll be publishing some new GCC 8 benchmarks soon on Phoronix and will continue with our coverage ahead of its release next March~April.
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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 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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