IBM Begins Adding GCC Support For Z Arch14 - Likely IBM z16

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 2 March 2021 at 07:30 AM EST. 3 Comments
GCC compiler patches began appearing this morning for IBM Z "Arch14" as a future architecture extension for their Z mainframe processors. IBM Z Arch14 will likely correlate to IBM z16.

IBM z15 was introduced at the end of 2019 as "Arch13" while today is the first time we are hearing of IBM Z "Arch14" and the first time seeing any code in the GCC open-source compiler referencing it. Short of some re-branding or change in their numbering scheme at IBM, Arch14 will likely end up being IBM z16.

The code merged today for GCC includes the --with-arch and --with-tune support for "arch14" to the IBM s390 compiler code.

Following that initial plumbing is adding new intrinsics. There are five new instructions added at this time for IBM Z Arch14 of vclfnhs_v8hi, vclfnls_v8hi, vcrnfs_v8hi, vcfn_v8hi, and vcnf_v8hi. Those new built-ins are for VEC NNPA FP16 convert, VEC convert from FP16, VEC convert to FP16, VEC extend to FP32, and VEC round from FP32. These are part of some new IBM "NNPA" functionality with Arch14 for which public information is currently light.

Given from IBM z13 to z14 and z14 to z15 were each on two year cycles, we will hopefully be learning more about IBM z16/Arch14 later this calendar year. At least IBM remains very punctual in their open-source/Linux work around s390/Z.
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