It's Time To Start Thinking About GCC 4.8
While GCC 4.8 will likely not see the light of day in 2012, GCC 4.7 was branched today with an imminent release candidate and now it's "trunk" code-base is open for GCC 4.8 development efforts.
The first GCC 4.8 status report was issued this morning by SUSE's Richard Guenther to say that trunk is now open for stage one development of GCC 4.8. GCC 4.7 has been branched, a release candidate is being prepped, and the final 4.7.0 release will be here this month or next. GCC 4.8 development is starting off with no P1 regressions, 69 P2 regressions, and just one P3 regression.
What will GCC 4.8 have in store for the open-source compiler world? We'll get a much better picture of this future version of the GNU Compiler Collection in the coming months, but it will surely have new hardware (CPU) support, better C++11 (C++0x) support, and various other improvements.
With GCC 4.7 there is already work on supporting Intel Ivy Bridge and Intel Haswell CPUs and their latest features by the leading open-source compiler. GCC 4.8 should better support Haswell's new capabilities while further cementing the benefits of the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs. On the AMD side we will hopefully see better support for newer Bulldozer CPUs, the upcoming Trinity APUs, and more.
Also of growing interest in the GCC world will be the ARM support. Hopefully we'll see good support out of GCC 4.8 for the upcoming ARM hardware, especially the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture and those soon-to-be-out SoCs.
One of the other features we will hopefully see out of GCC 4.8 is D compiler support. Google will also likely look to further enrich its Go programming language support within GCC.
A number of old systems/targets were also obseleted during the GCC 4.7 cycle and will likely be removed for 4.8, such as IRIS 6.5, MIPS OpenBSD, Solaris 7, and others.
Look for more GCC 4.8 information in the coming months, but it will likely not be until H1'2013 when this next major compiler update is out, to succeed the soon-to-be-released GCC 4.7. As far as what's coming up for GCC 4.7, see this article and the second article.