Geekspeak: June 24, 2002

GNU compilers advance; GCC 3.1 fixes bugs, gets faster.

Last month, the free software foundation released GNU compiler collection 3.1. Release Coordinator Mark Mitchell describes GCC 3.1 as focused on fixing bugs introduced in GCC 3.0. GCC is a set of compilers for C, C++, Objective-C, Java, Fortran and Ada. Support for Ada is new in this release; Ada Core Technologies GNAT (GNU Ada Translator) Ada 95 is now part of GCC.

GCC 3.1 has significant speed improvements. "According to the SPECint2000 results on an AMD Athlon CPU, the code generated by GCC 3.1 is 6 percent faster on the average ... compared to GCC 3.0," the GCC 3.1 New Features Web site states. "[Code] produced by GCC 3.0 is about 2.1 percent faster compared to 2.95.3."

GCC 3.1 supports an incredible range of CPUs—it is a core tool for many handheld developers and embedded programmers. Support for 64-bit CPUs is stronger than in 3.0. (GCC can generate native code for AMDs upcoming 64-bit Hammer CPU lines.)