Linux and POWER - great choices for compilers
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Many technical advances continue in the realm of classic compiler choices for Linux and for POWER systems.
In the open-source community, the gcc.gnu.org community continues to drive technology improvements into the gcc, g++, and gfortran compilers. GCC 4.8 has recently been announced and is available for use across many industry platforms.
With IBM's assistance on POWER systems, the latest GCC compilers can provide outstanding performance on the latest POWER systems, including POWER7, POWER7+, and even early enabling of the emerging POWER8 systems. IBM regularly provides the Advance Toolchain which delivers the latest GCC technology and POWER-optimized libraries
On the IBM side, the IBM XL compilers continue to deliver optimized compilation technologies across the POWER system operating systems. The IBM XL C/C++ and IBM XL Fortran compilers are the same compilers on IBM AIX, Red Hat's RHEL, and SUSE's SLES operating systems.
Across many systems in the industry, two SPEC.org benchmarks are often used to measure the performance of compiler and system technologies available on a system. SPECint® and SPECfp® are two benchmark suites which measure integer and floating point performance of compiled workloads. IBM often publishes the results of the rate runs of the workloads for their IBM POWER systems.
For example, IBM recently announced the
These results were achieved with IBM's XL compilers. In addition to these results, comparison results were also published using the Advance Toolchain 6.0 release with GCC and the POWER optimized libraries for POWER7. (Since this result was published, a new Advance Toolchain Version 7 has been released).
For more details on the IBM PowerLinux 7R4 published results, see the following links:
It's interesting to compare the performance components of the Advance Toolchain GCC with tuned libraries and the IBM XL compiled executables. By better understanding these technologies and the results possible, users can assess the possibilities of each.
Things to pay attention to...
In general, your choice of compilers is driven by many considerations.
As always, your performance mileage will vary. Try the options. See what works best for you.