Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, December 3, 2021

Next Generation of IBM C/C++ and Fortran Compilers are Now Available on IBM AIX 

Oct. 18, 2021 — In February 2020, IBM announced the intention to adopt open source LLVM infrastructure for the next generation of IBM XL C/C++ and Fortran compilers. As an active sponsor and strong supporter of LLVM, IBM is committed to bringing the benefits and innovations from the LLVM community to our enterprise clients.With the launch of IBM Power10, the IBM XL C/C++ and Fortran compilers have been modernized and now rebranded to IBM Open XL C/C++ for AIX and IBM Open XL Fortran for AIX. IBM Open XL C/C++ and Fortran for AIX 17.1.0 combine Clang/LLVM technology with IBM’s industry-leading optimizations.

IBM Open XL C/C++ and Fortran compilers provide differentiating values for IBM Power10 hardware both on premises and in hybrid cloud. This gives our enterprise clients a tightly integrated hardware and development tooling stack that best fits the needs of business-critical applications:

  • Full Power10 architecture exploitation, including Power10 processor-specific optimizations in code generation, built-in functions, and tuned library functions. Only with the co-optimization of Power10 hardware and the new IBM Open XL compilers, IBM Power10 processor–based systems can deliver the best performance for your applications, maximizing your hardware return on investment. Through providing built-in functions for the embedded Matrix Multiply Accelerator in the Power10 processor, enterprise AI inference workloads’ performance can be greatly increased through faster FP32, BFloat16, and INT8 calculations.
  • Adoption of the Clang/LLVM infrastructure: This accelerates the availability of the latest technologies and innovations from the open source community on the IBM Power platform, including new C/C++ language standards, common LLVM optimizations, and great GCC compiler compatibility. It also opens the gate for using various LLVM-based utilities on Power, such as bugpoint, opt-viewer, and llvm-dwarfdump. With the Clang front end, your C/C++ applications can be further modernized not only using new language features, but also by maintaining and deploying those applications across multiple platforms (for example, AIX, Linux on Power, and x86). The new IBM Open XL compilers can take advantage of both common LLVM optimizations and IBM’s advanced optimizations, increasing general performance for workloads as compared to the previous XL compilers.
  • Faster build speed: Through adoption of the modern LLVM infrastructure, the new IBM Open XL compilers can significantly speed up the build process, especially at higher optimization levels. This can help clients shorten the development cycle, enable faster iterations, and provide continuous delivery for business-critical applications on AIX.
  • Flexible licensing options: IBM Open XL compilers offer monthly licenses (per Virtual Processor Core) to facilitate your journey to hybrid cloud. Meanwhile user-based licenses (that is, authorized user and concurrent user licenses) are still available. Clients holding valid entitlement of previous XL C/C++ and Fortran compilers may download and upgrade to the new IBM Open XL compilers at no charge.

Try our new Open XL compiler today and take advantage of both LLVM and IBM’s optimizations!

Visit the product pages Open XL C/C++Open XL Fortran for more details.

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