GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 19 May 2018 at 12:31 AM EDT. 10 Comments
GNU --
Next year's GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

Fortunately, ARMv7 and newer is still in great shape given they are still common and even ARMv6 support is also still supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. But as of Friday they dropped support for ARMv3 and older followed by dropping ARMv5 and ARMv5E.

The dropping of ARMv3 and older even includes finally eliminating the support for ARM2. The ARM2 target in GCC is finally no more.

This doesn't come as too much of a surprise though with pre-ARMv4T support being deprecated since GCC 6 and the ARMv5 support being deprecated since GCC 7 last year.

The ARMv3 hardware was produced from 1993 to 2001 with the Thumb 16-bit instruction set being the big new feature. ARMv5 CPUs featured improved thermal efficiency and clock improvements but they have been out of production for more than one decade. ARMv5 is found in some older Archos tablets and some other old and random devices, but nothing too relevant for today's needs and especially where needing a modern compiler toolchain. Long story short, hopefully no one will mind this support being killed off for the GCC 9.1 compiler due for release in 2019.
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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 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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