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Performance Computing: The Brave GNU World

Sep 22, 1999, 05:38 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Tiemann, Byron Gillepsie)

"Building a fast open-source compiler for IA-32 meant knowing what to change and how."

"Tuning a compiler is like trying to open a combination lock by trial and error, except that you cannot progress through every combination in an orderly fashion: when you change one tumbler, not only can the others randomly change their values, but the lock's combination may change as well. You shouldn't give up on performance tuning because of its complexity, though, just understand that any discussion about optimization is relative and necessarily incomplete."

"When developing the GNU compilers for the Intel Pentium II processor, we confronted an advanced superscalar processor that had the potential to deliver outstanding integer and floating-point performance. While the Pentium II can run codes generated for the 386, 486, and Pentium unmodified, new compiler strategies are required to get the full performance possible with the Pentium II. Here, we will discuss three specific ways to maximize Pentium II performance..."

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