LLVM 3.7 & Clang 3.7 Are Bringing Exciting Compiler Features, Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 25 August 2015 at 11:20 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The LLVM 3.7 release is imminent so here's our usual look at the new features/improvements for this open-source compiler stack. Complete OpenMP 3 support is a big one but there's also many other big ticket items to find in this major compiler update.

Highlights for LLVM 3.7 include:

- LLVM has a back-end now for the BPF instruction set to make use of the Linux kernel's new virtual machine for doing a variety of work.

- There's the new ORC API for On-Request Compilation. The C++ ORC JIT API is based on MCJIT but offers up other functionality.

- The AMDGPU/R600 LLVM back-end has seen a ton of improvements as usual. LLVM 3.7 plus Mesa 11.0 now allows for OpenGL 4.1 support on RadeonSI-backed AMD graphics hardware.

- MIPS target support for the MIPS32R3, MIPS32R5, MIPS32R3, MIPS32R5, and microMIPS32. There are also many other MIPS improvements within LLVM 3.7.

- Support for the POWER8 ISA 2.07B instruction set and other POWER8 enhancements.

- SafeStack was merged.

- Various PlayStation 4 related LLVM work.

On the Clang compiler front-end side for v3.7, there are:

- Complete OpenMP 3.1 support! There's also limited OpenMP 4.0 support.

- Improved diagnostics.

- Clang now supports GCC-compatible Profile Guided Optimization (PGO) flags for fprofile-generate, fprofile-use, and fno-profile-generate, etc.

- Static analyzer improvements.

Stay tuned for more details about LLVM/Clang 3.7 as its release approaches in the next few days. I'll also be starting some OpenMP LLVM/Clang 3.7 benchmarks today. There's also been daily LLVM/Clang 3.7 benchmarks of the SVN code through its development cycle (now tracking LLVM/Clang 3.8) via this LinuxBenchmarking.com performance tracker.
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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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