H1-2018 Was Certainly Eventful For The GCC Compiler
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 4 July 2018 at 06:06 AM EDT. 3 Comments
GNU --
The first half of 2018 was certainly eventful for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) with the stable release of GCC8, feature development on GCC9 kicking off, and all the associated fun.

The stable GCC 8.1 debut brought with it initial C++2A support, initial Intel Cannonlake and Icelake CPU enablement, Profile Guided Optimization improvements and other optimization passes work, Intel CET, Qualcomm Saphira CPU support and other ARM CPU improvements, C17 language support, updates for the Go and Fortran languages, AMD HSA IL / BRING improvements, and a whole lot of other work that built up over the past year. GCC 8.1 was officially released in early May while all feature work is now focused on GCC 9 that should debut as stable around the end of Q1'2019.

Among the GCC 9 work that was carried out in the first half of this year included much better GCC bash completion support, dropping Intel MPX, compiler-assisted performance analysis, Ada language support improvements, AMD HSA / BRIG improvements, dropping support for older ARM architectures, and more. Of course, expect much more feature work on GCC 9 to happen during the second half of this year.

For those wondering how the GCC compiler performance is looking when using a SVN snapshot from the end of last year to the end of H1'2018, here's a look at some of the compiler benchmarks where there was a notable difference.

Fhourstones exhibited some small performance improvements on the tested systems.

SciMark2 saw slight improvements on a subset of the tested Linux systems.

Most tests though saw none or very minimal performance changes with the GCC code churn over the past six months.

The AVX-heavy Himeno saw some nice performance improvements on the Intel Core systems but Ryzen appearing to regress.

The Ebizzy server synthetic benchmark improved with the Xeon rig.

The C-Ray ray-tracer was running faster with the newer GCC code.

Over on LinuxBenchmarking.com we continue to put out new GCC benchmarks of the tests being built under the latest daily GCC SVN code on a bi-daily basis.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the GNU toolchain developers have in store for H2-2018!

About The Author
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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