Intel releases new compilers for Mac OS X

Intel Corporation has released two software products that help developers efficiently create more reliable, high-performing applications that speed up a computer’s responsiveness. The Intel C++ Compiler and Fortran Professional Editions bring together a unique combination of highly optimizing compilers, performance libraries and the Intel Threading Building Blocks.

The products feature new automatic support for accelerating program performance on Intel’s latest multi-core processors. Applications containing 3-D graphics or video are automatically accelerated through the use of vectors via Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE), including the latest SSE 4 instructions. Application performance is also accelerated by multi-core processors through the use of multiple threads. Combining the use of vectors and threads and integrating them with a technology known as loop transformation generates greater performance on multi-core processors without requiring developers to rewrite their code.

“Combining these capabilities in a cooperative and coordinated manner brings our customers added performance benefits and compiler reliability, which in turn gives greater PC responsiveness for gamers and everyday PC users,” said Kevin J. Smith, director of the Intel Compiler Products. “This project has undergone extensive validation and application testing with Intel customers and we’re excited about the results our customers are seeing in their applications.”

The combined capabilities also provide benefits that extend beyond multi-core optimizations by assisting developers in locating vulnerabilities that would otherwise go undetected, such as uninitialized variables and possible buffer overruns.

The Intel C++ Professional Edition for Mac OS X, Linux. and Windows combines the Intel compiler with the Intel Math Kernel Library, the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives and the Intel Threading Building Blocks.

The Intel Fortran Compiler Professional Edition for Mac OS X, Linux. and Windows combines the Intel compiler with the Intel Math Kernel Library. For the first time, the Intel Visual Fortran Compiler 10.0 now includes Microsoft Visual Studio, which provides the visual development environment to create, edit, build and debug Fortran applications.

The new products are all available today with suggested prices ranging from $599 to $1,599. Upgrades to the Professional Editions from the prior version of Intel compilers or libraries are available for limited time through resellers worldwide.

Intel also announced a new package for students that include all of these products as well as Intel VTune Performance Analyzer, Intel Thread Checker and Intel Thread Profiler in one discounted package for students who qualify.

More info here.

[Attribution: MacUser]

23 Comments

  1. Sniggering aside, this is important news for anyone trying to real science on their Mac. Their Intel math libraries offer serious performance benefits and are a signicant improvement over the open source gnu compiler collection, which Apple uses.

  2. It is crucial to the health of the whole computer industry to be able to actually use all of the cores of the new architectures of CPUs. Intel, AMD and IBM are all affected by this. The multicore/manycore revolution will come to a screeching halt if those cores go essentially unused. So let’s all cheer the appearance of compilers to support parallel programming on the heart of the chips that power the new Macs.

    But why not make these products free? Surely, the number of compilers sold versus the number of chips sold must be tiny. The benchmarks published by the enthusiast community comparing chips — say, Intel vs. AMD — will most likely use the gcc compilers. These less optimized compilers might not have the advantages of the vendor provided products and will hurt the sales of the vendors’ CPUs, if they understate the achievable performance. The profits lost in chip sales must outweigh the gain in compiler sales. The business model of pricey compiler software is a loser!

    Come on Intel, use a more profitable business model! Make your compilers free and work with Apple to include those compilers and tools in the free Xcode suite. Apple has figured out that it is crazy to drive developers away with pricey compilers and development tools and you guys are driving away business by letting lesser capable tools understate the quality of your CPUs.

  3. I agree, releaseing this as free products only helps intel over AMD. It would also allow other compiler products (xCode) to take advantage of the new features rather than a generic application like gcc

  4. Intel has always charged for its optimised compiler collection. You want performance with your application, you pay for it. There’s no run-time license, so it’s a low, one-off cost for any developer. You want free, you’ve got gcc.

  5. I have a QUESTION about gaming on a MAC. I have an 17in 1.ghz Powerbook. I am upgrading, and my son wants to play World of Warcraft. What Mac should I purchase that will run WOW at it full potential? Is there a difference in the game between “peecee” version and the Mac Version?

    With this new release of software for the Intel based processors, should we expect to receive more games in the future? I need firepower to help out with this additional purchase. Thanks

  6. I meant no disrespect to Fortran users and fans. In fact I look back fondly on those days. My high school had its own computer back then, and the students operated it. Unlike most other facilites in that era, which were staffed by grown-ups, and the students just handed in their punch card programs to be run. I remember having to lug around my box of punch cards as well as my IBM flow-charting template. Those were indeed the days. Who knew what it would lead to. Here is a pic of my “first” coimputer.
    http://febcm.club.fr/english/ge_115.htm

  7. @PowerMac…

    My son runs WOW on his Mac Pro and loves it. The general rule of thumb is, when upgrading, get as much computer as you can afford. Don’t forget to price in $$ for RAM. I suggest you get your memory from Memorytogo.com or Crucial.com. Apple memory is pricey, and you get a lifetime guarentee from memorytogo and crucial. It’s one that both companies stand behind as I’ve come to learn first hand.

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