Features To Look Forward To With LLVM / Clang 6.0

Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 31 December 2017 at 08:00 AM EST. 1 Comment
With the LLVM Clang 6.0 code branching and feature freeze coming up on 3 January, here's a recap of some of the most interesting new features and changes to find with the LLVM 6.0 compiler infrastructure and Clang 6.0 C/C++ front-end.

Some of the LLVM 6.0 feature highlights include:

- Updated Skylake Server scheduler model along with updates too for the Sandybridge, Haswell, and Broadwell models.

- The AMD Zen "znver1" scheduler model is now considered "complete" that includes an updated scheduler model that landed earlier in the cycle.

- For those with old AMD CPUs, there is 3DNow! improvements.

- Plenty of AMDGPU LLVM optimizations. Especially if running with a newer Radeon GPU like Raven/Vega, you'll really want your driver stack built against LLVM 6.0.

- Support for Myriad ma2x8x CPUs.

- The ARC back-end was merged for Synopsys DesignWare ARC processors.

- Cortex A55 and A75 CPUs are now officially supported.

On the LLVM Clang 6.0 side there is:

- Clang 6.0 now defaults to C++14 (the GNU++14 dialect) rather than C++98/GNU++98.

- Clang support for configuration files was just recently added. Clang also now supports a -autocomplete flag to help with bash auto-completion and finding out all available compiler flag options.

- Initial support for Intel Icelake CPUs and its new AVX-512 instructions.

- Initial support for the C17 programming language standard.

- Support for Intel Control-flow Enforcement Technology as one of many new Intel CPU instruction additions this cycle like the Vector Neural Network Instructions (VNNI).

LLVM 6.0 is branching on 3 January while the release candidates will begin by mid-January. The official LLVM 6.0.0 release is expected by late February assuming no delays. More LLVM/Clang 6.0 benchmarks will be coming up on Phoronix.
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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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