Sun Studio Express release

I don't normally talk about Sun Studio Express releases, but this release is important for two reasons.

First of all it's the first release that includes spot. It's a really good feeling to finally get spot into the compiler suite, I've been using it and working on it for probably about six years. Over that time it's proved to be incredibly useful both in terms of productivity (it's easy to gather a spot report and then view it through a browser from home), and in terms of catching performance issues that we might otherwise have missed. Distributing it as a cooltool has been very successful, quite a large number of people have downloaded it, but it's going to be so much more accessible to people when available as part of Sun Studio.

The other really big event is the support of OpenMP 3.0. I believe that Sun Studio is the first compiler to support the new standard! OpenMP 3.0 should make it very easy to parallelise a wide range of applications - no longer just loop based apps. Yuan Lin has put up a wiki page to help get people started with tasks.

There's actually a significant number of other features in this release, it's a pretty major rev.

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About

Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge

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