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GCC: Optimizing Linux, the Internet, and Everything

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Software is useless if computers can't run it. Even the most talented developer is at the mercy of the compiler when it comes to run-time performance - if you don’t have a reliable compiler toolchain you can’t build anything serious. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) provides a robust, mature and high performance partner to help you get the most out of your software. With decades of development by thousands of people GCC is one of the most respected compilers in the world. If you are building applications and not using GCC, you are missing out on the best possible solution.

GCC is the “de facto-standard open source compiler today” [1] according to and the foundation used to build complete systems - from the kernel upwards. GCC supports over 60 hardware platforms, including ARM, Intel, AMD, IBM POWER, SPARC, HP PA-RISC, and IBM Z, as well as a variety of operating environments, including GNU, Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and RTEMS. It offers highly compliant C/C++ compilers and support for popular C libraries, such as GNU C Library (glibc), Newlib, musl, and the C libraries included with various BSD operating systems, as well as front-ends for Fortran, Ada, and GO languages. GCC also functions as a cross compiler, creating executable code for a platform other than the one on which the compiler is running. GCC is the core component of the tightly integrated GNU toolchain, produced by the GNU Project, that includes glibc, Binutils, and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

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Also: AMDGPU Developer Proposes Array Register Files For LLVM - Would Help Performance

LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification

  • LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification (BTI)

    A bulk of the Linux/open-source enablement we have seen taking place for ARM's new ARMv8.5 architecture revision is around its new Spectre defenses to help SoCs that will begin shipping later in 2019.

    Back in September the first of the ARMv8.5 support began landing in the LLVM/Clang compiler and it's work to battle Spectre-style vulnerabilities. That work included speculation restriction system registers, a new speculation barrier, prediction invalidation instructions, and SSBB/PSSBB speculation barriers. ARMv8.5 also brings some additions outside of the Spectre/security space like new persistent memory instructions and random number instructions.

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As it can be seen in the first graph, perhaps with some difficulty, is that the percent of arch-dependent packages built for riscv64 (grey line) has been around or higher than 80% since mid 2018, just a few months after the port was added to the infrastructure. Given than the arch-dependent packages are about half of the Debian['s main, unstable] archive and that (in simple terms) arch-independent packages can be used by all ports (provided that the software that they rely on is present, e.g. a programming language interpreter), this means that around 90% of packages of the whole archive has been available for this architecture from early on. Read more

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