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LinuxProgramming: Red Hat and NEC Release GNU C Complier for NEC's VR5500 MIPS-based Platform

Mar 15, 2002, 11:00 (2 Talkback[s])

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS CONFERENCE, San Francisco, Calif.--March 14, 2002--Red Hat, Inc., (NASDAQ:RHAT), the world's premier open source and Linux provider, and NEC Electronics announced today certified benchmark scores for the Red Hat GNU C compiler for NEC's 400 megahertz (MHz) VR5500 MIPS-based microprocessor.

The Red Hat engineering team performed a study of the GNU C compiler created for NEC, using a collection of benchmarks provided by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC). These benchmarks represent real-world algorithms used in the telecommunications, networking, consumer, office automation and automotive/industrial businesses. The benchmark tests were then repeated and scores were certified by the EEMBC Certification Laboratories (ECL).

The study identified optimization opportunities for the GNU C compiler for NEC's VR5500 MIPS-based processor. Red Hat worked with NEC to implement the appropriate optimizations. Because the VR5500 processor has dual instruction issue with out-of-order (OOO) execution, compiler scheduling optimizations are not as critical to execution efficiency as other dual issue architectures that do not support OOO execution. This allowed compiler optimizations to focus on areas other than scheduling to improve performance. The benchmarks were then conducted after the compiler work was completed, indicating a significant performance increase versus other commercially available MIPS-based C compilers in the market.

"The results shown by the Red Hat GNU C compiler indicate the performance capabilities and optimizations of the GNU C compiler targeted at a specific processor architecture," said Markus Levy, president of EEMBC. "These results demonstrate the value of the EEMBC benchmarks in identifying areas of compiler performance improvement and achieving results for specific application areas. It is extremely beneficial to developers, as well as customers, to have a highly optimized C compiler for the NEC superscalar, out-of-order processor. We look forward to seeing certified EEMBC benchmark scores for the VR5500 processor from other compiler vendors."

The most significant increase was seen in the automotive industry benchmark. In automotive, the GNU C compiler was approximately 35 percent faster than its nearest competitor. In the remaining benchmarks, the GNU C compiler was approximately 10 percent faster than its nearest competitor. EEMBC published the complete results at the Embedded Systems Conference on March 13 in San Francisco.

"As demand for better-performing compilers continues to grow, our relationship with Red Hat allows us to optimize the GNU C compiler for the NEC VR5500 MIPS-based processor," said Arnold Estep, senior manager for VR SeriesÔ processors at NEC Electronics Inc. "Customers using the Red Hat GNU C compiler with the VR5500 device benefit from an optimized compiler for their product development, allowing them to focus on improving applications and achieving a fast time to market."

"Submitting these leadership results for our compiler confirms the high performance capabilities of GNU C," said Michael Tiemann, chief technical officer at Red Hat. "The beauty of this announcement is that world-class solutions can now be compiled to run on Red Hat Embedded Linux for the NEC MIPS-based processor. These solutions include set-top boxes, gaming platforms, field automation devices, imaging, telematics and other platforms that can be tethered back to a company's infrastructure that is running Red Hat Linux."

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