PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite
Phoronix: PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite
Within the free software world, GCC has long been the dominant compiler with it being backed by the Free Software Foundation, it being the most well developed free compiler suite, and is a feature rich offering that is put out under the GNU GPLv3. As of late, LLVM has also been hitting the nail on the head. The Low-Level Virtual Machine with its C/C++ Clang compiler front-end offers great performance, is successful in building code-bases like the Linux kernel, its modular design allows the compiler infrastructure to be used in areas like graphics drivers, is under a BSD-style license, and carries numerous other advantages. Other open-source compilers have advanced too, including the release of PCC 1.0. Now there is a new and extremely interesting option to shake the open-source compiler world: PathScale is freely releasing the source to the EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite. EKOPath 4 is a high-performance compiler that up until now has been proprietary and costs nearly $2000 USD per license, but now it's open-source and can sharply outperform GCC in many computationally-intense workloads.
It would appear that Phoronix jumped the gun a bit here. So far, there's still nothing on the PathScale site and while a trusted source has told me that the release is still on for now, I'm kind of worried about the effect that the early leak will have...
They are big differences in performance.
Even if the applications have been well chosen, I would never expect to see such differences by just using another compiler.
Maybe this should be considered as bugs in GCC (it must obviously do something wrong to see such a difference).
That would be very interesting to compare compilations options, and to see how that works on different configurations as well.
And why not using Fedora 15 with GCC 4.6 to perform benchmarks?
It's a bit more bleeding edge than Ubuntu.