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GCC 6.1 Brings New C++17 Features, Full Support for OpenMP, Improves OpenACC

| by Sergio De Simone Follow 5 Followers on May 03, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Version 6.1 is the first major GCC release after more than one year. It contains substantial new functionality, says GCC maintainer Jakub Jelinek, including new C++17 features, full support for OpenMP, and improved support for OpenACC.

Among the most important changes introduced in GCC 6.1:

  • The C++ compiler now defaults to -std=gnu++14 instead of std=gnu++98.
  • Improvements to diagnostics, including improved locations, location ranges, suggestions for misspelled identifiers, fix-it hints and new warnings.
  • Improvements to the optimizers. This affects intra-procedural optimizations, inter-procedural optimizations, link time optimizations and various target backends.
  • The C++ compiler has been extended to support new features that are expected in C++17, such as fold expressions, u8 character literals, and nested namespace definition. Additionally, it also includes support for C++ concepts, a feature that has not yet been officially included in C++17, and C++ transactional memory. Similarly, the C++ standard library has been extended to include support for C++17 features such as std::uncaught_exception, std::invoke, std::shared_mutex, etc.
  • Full support for the Open Multi-Processing (OpenMP) 4.5 specification, an API designed for multi-platform shared memory multiprocessing.
  • Improved support for the OpenACC 2.0a specification, a programming standard developed by Cray, CAPS, Nvidia, and PGI and aimed to simplify parallel programming of heterogeneous CPU/GPU systems.

To make it easier for developers to port existing code to GCC 6.1, the GCC team has also published a guide that details major issues that may arise and provide solutions for them. This includes, e.g.:

  • Choosing the right -std option to work with the desired standard version;
  • Caveats when using features that imply different behaviour across different standard versions, such as destructors’ noexcept exception-specification, or are altogether ruled out, such as using false where a pointer is required, etc.

The latest GCC release can be downloaded from any mirror in the GNU mirror list and can be found in the gcc/gcc-6.1.0/ subdirectory.

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