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Intel C++ Compiler

intel c++ compiler, intel c compiler torrent
Intel C++ Compiler, also known as icc or icl, is a group of C and C++ compilers from Intel available for Windows, macOS, Linux and Intel-based Android devices


  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Optimizations
  • 3 Architectures
  • 4 Description of packaging
  • 5 History Since 2003
  • 6 Flags and manuals
  • 7 Debugging
  • 8 Criticism
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


The compilers generate optimized code for IA-32 and Intel 64 architectures, and non-optimized code for non-Intel but compatible processors, such as certain AMD processors A specific release of the compiler 111 is available for development of Linux-based applications for IA-64 Itanium 2 processors

The 140 compiler added support for Intel-based Android devices and optimized vectorization and SSE Family instructions for performance The 130 release added support for the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor It continues support for automatic vectorization, which can generate SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, AVX and AVX2 SIMD instructions, and the embedded variant for Intel MMX and MMX 24 Use of such instruction through the compiler can lead to improved application performance in some applications as run on IA-32 and Intel 64 architectures, compared to applications built with compilers that do not support these instructions

Intel compilers support Cilk Plus, which is a capability for writing vectorized and parallel code that can be used on IA-32 and Intel 64 processors or which can be offloaded to Xeon Phi coprocessors They also continue support for OpenMP 40, symmetric multiprocessing, automatic parallelization, and Guided Auto-Parallization GAP With the add-on Cluster OpenMP capability, the compilers can also automatically generate Message Passing Interface calls for distributed memory multiprocessing from OpenMP directives

Intel C++ is compatible with Microsoft Visual C++ on Windows and integrates into Microsoft Visual Studio On Linux and macOS, it is compatible with GNU Compiler Collection GCC and the GNU toolchain Intel C++ Compiler for Android is hosted on Windows, OS X or Linux and is compatible with the Android NDK, including gcc and the Eclipse IDE Intel compilers are known for the application performance they can enable as measured by benchmarks, such as the SPEC CPU benchmarks


Intel compilers are optimized to computer systems using processors that support Intel architectures They are designed to minimize stalls and to produce code that executes in the fewest possible number of cycles The Intel C++ Compiler supports three separate high-level techniques for optimizing the compiled program: interprocedural optimization IPO, profile-guided optimization PGO, and high-level optimizations HLO The Intel C++ compiler in the Parallel Studio XE 2016 products also supports tools, techniques and language extensions, such as Cilk Plus, for adding and maintaining application parallelism on IA-32 and Intel 64 processors, and also enables application offloading to Intel coprocessors, such as the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor

Cilk Plus adds language extensions to C++ to express data and task-parallelism _Cilk_spawn and _Cilk_sync are keywords to enable task parallelism and the _Cilk_for keyword enables parallelization of for loops It also provides vector notation with array notations and elemental function capabilities

Profile-guided optimization refers to a mode of optimization where the compiler is able to access data from a sample run of the program across a representative input set The data would indicate which areas of the program are executed more frequently, and which areas are executed less frequently All optimizations benefit from profile-guided feedback because they are less reliant on heuristics when making compilation decisions

High-level optimizations are optimizations performed on a version of the program that more closely represents the source code This includes loop interchange, loop fusion, loop unrolling, loop distribution, data prefetch, and more5

Interprocedural optimization applies typical compiler optimizations such as constant propagation but using a broader scope that may include multiple procedures, multiple files, or the entire program6

Intel's compiler has been criticized for applying, by default, floating-point optimizations not allowed by the C standard and that require special flags with other compilers such as gcc7


  • IA-32
  • x86-64 Intel 64 and AMD64
  • Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor
  • IA-64 Itanium 2

Description of packagingedit

Except for the Intel Bi-Endian C++ Compiler, Intel C++ compilers are not available in standalone form They are available in suites:

  • Intel Parallel Studio XE for development of technical, enterprise, and high-performance computing applications on Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Intel System Studio for development of system and app software for embedded systems or devices running Windows, Linux or Android

The suites include other build tools, such as libraries, and tools for threading and performance analysis

History Since 2003edit

Compiler version Release date Major new features
Intel C++ Compiler 80 December 15, 2003 Precompiled headers, code-coverage tools
Intel C++ Compiler 81 September, 2004 AMD64 architecture for Linux
Intel C++ Compiler 90 June 14, 2005 AMD64 architecture for Windows, software-based speculative pre-computation SSP optimization, improved loop optimization reports
Intel C++ Compiler 100 June 5, 2007 Improved parallelizer and vectorizer, Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 SSE4, new and enhanced optimization reports for advanced loop transformations, new optimized exception handling implementation
Intel C++ Compiler 101 November 7, 2007 New OpenMP compatibility runtime library: if you use the new OpenMP RTL, you can mix and match with libraries and objects built by Visual C++ To use the new libraries, you need to use the new option "-Qopenmp /Qopenmp-lib:compat" on Windows, and "-openmp -openmp-lib:compat" on Linux This version of the Intel compiler supports more intrinsics from Visual Studio 2005

VS2008 support - command line only in this release The IDE integration was not supported yet

Intel C++ Compiler 110 November 2008 Initial C++11 support VS2008 IDE integration on Windows OpenMP 30 Source Checker for static memory/parallel diagnostics
Intel C++ Compiler 111 June 23, 2009 Support for latest Intel SSE SSE42, AVX and AES instructions Parallel Debugger Extension Improved integration into Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse CDT 50 and Mac Xcode IDE
Intel C++ Composer XE 2011 up to Update 5 compiler 120 November 7, 2010 Cilk Plus language extensions, Guided Auto-Parallelism, Improved C++11 support8
Intel C++ Composer XE 2011 Update 6 and above compiler 121 September 8, 2011 Cilk Plus language extensions updated to support specification version 11 and available on Mac OS X in addition to Windows and Linux, Threading Building Blocks updated to support version 40, Apple blocks supported on Mac OS X, improved C++11 support including support for Variadic templates, OpenMP 31 support
Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 compiler 130 September 5, 2012 Linux-based support for Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, support for Microsoft Visual Studio 12 Desktop, support for gcc 47, support for Intel AVX 2 instructions, updates to existing functionality focused on improved application performance9
Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 compiler 130 September 5, 2012 Linux-based support for Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, support for Microsoft Visual Studio 12 Desktop, support for gcc 47, support for Intel AVX 2 instructions, updates to existing functionality focused on improved application performance10
Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 SP1 compiler 140 September 4, 2013 Online installer; support for Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors; preview Win32 only support for Intel graphics; improved C++11 support
Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 SP1 Update 1 compiler 1401 October 18, 2013 Japanese localization of 140; Windows 81 and Xcode 50 support
Intel C++ Compiler for Android compiler 1401 November 12, 2013 Hosted on Windows, Linux, or OS X, compatible with Android NDK tools including the gcc compiler and Eclipse
Intel C++ Composer XE 2015 compiler 150 July 25, 2014 Full C++11 language support; Additional OpenMP 40 and Cilk Plus enhancements
Intel C++ Composer XE 2015 Update 1 compiler 1501 October 30, 2014 AVX-512 support; Japanese localization
Intel C++ 160 August 25, 2015 Suite-based availability Intel Parallel Studio XE, Intel System Studio
Intel C++ 170 September 15, 2016 Suite-based availability Intel Parallel Studio XE, Intel System Studio

Flags and manualsedit

Documentation can be found at the Intel Software Technical Documentation site

Windows Linux & macOS Comment
/Od -O0 No optimization
/O1 -O1 Optimize for size
/O2 -O2 Optimize for speed and enable some optimization
/O3 -O3 Enable all optimizations as O2, and intensive loop optimizations
/arch:SSE3 /-msse3 Enables SSE3, SSE2 and SSE instruction sets optimizations for non-Intel CPUs11
/fast -fast Shorthand On Windows this equates to "/O3 /Qipo /QxHost /Opred-div-" ; on Linux "-O3 -ipo -static -xHOST -no-prec-div" Note that the processor specific optimization flag -xHOST will optimize for the processor compiled on—it is the only flag of -fast that may be overridden
/Qprof-gen -prof_gen Compile the program and instrument it for a profile generating run
/Qprof-use -prof_use May only be used after running a program that was previously compiled using prof_gen Uses profile information during each step of the compilation process


The Intel compiler provides debugging information that is standard for the common debuggers DWARF 2 on Linux, similar to gdb, and COFF for Windows The flags to compile with debugging information are /Zi on Windows and -g on Linux Debugging is done on Windows using the Visual Studio debugger and, on Linux, using gdb

While the Intel compiler can generate a gprof compatible profiling output, Intel also provides a kernel level, system-wide statistical profiler called Intel VTune Amplifier VTune can be used from a command line or thru an included GUI on Linux or Windows It can also be integrated into Visual Studio on Windows, or Eclipse on Linux In addition to the VTune profiler, there is Intel Advisor that specializes in vectorization optimization and tools for threading design and prototyping

Intel also offers a tool for memory and threading error detection called Intel Inspector XE Regarding memory errors, it helps detect memory leaks, memory corruption, allocation/de-allocation of API mismatches and inconsistent memory API usage Regarding threading errors, it helps detect data races both heap and stack, deadlocks and thread and synch API errors


Intel and third parties have published benchmark results to substantiate performance leadership claims over other commercial, open source and AMD compilers and libraries on Intel and non-Intel processors Intel and AMD have documented flags to use on the Intel compilers to get optimal performance on Intel and AMD processors1213 Nevertheless, the Intel compilers have been known to produce sub-optimal code for processors from other vendors than Intel For example, Steve Westfield wrote in a 2005 article at the AMD website:14

The Danish developer and scholar Agner Fog wrote in 2009:15

This vendor-specific CPU dispatching decreases the performance on non-Intel processors of software built with an Intel compiler or an Intel function library - possibly without the knowledge of the programmer This has allegedly led to misleading benchmarks15 A legal battle between AMD and Intel over this and other issues has been settled in November 200916 In late 2010, AMD settled a US Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation against Intel17

The FTC settlement included a disclosure provision where Intel must:18

In compliance with this rule, Intel added an "optimization notice" to its compiler descriptions stating that they "may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors" and that "certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors" It says that:19

As reported by The Register20 in July, 2013, Intel was suspected of "benchmarksmanship", when it was shown that the object code produced by the Intel compiler for the AnTuTu Mobile Benchmark omitted portions of the benchmark which showed increased performance compared to ARM platforms

See alsoedit

  • Intel Parallel Studio XE
  • Intel Integrated Performance Primitives IPP
  • Intel Data Analytics Acceleration Library DAAL
  • Intel Math Kernel Library MKL
  • Intel Threading Building Blocks TBB
  • Cilk Plus
  • VTune Amplifier
  • Intel Fortran Compiler
  • Intel Developer Zone Intel DZ; support and discussion


  1. ^ "Intel C++ Compiler 170 Release Notes" 
  2. ^ "No Cost Options for Intel Parallel Studio XE, Support yourself, Royalty-Free" 
  3. ^ "Intel C++ Compiler for Android documentation" 
  4. ^ A J C Bik, The Software Vectorization Handbook Intel Press, Hillsboro, OR, 2004, ISBN 0-9743649-2-4
  5. ^ The Software Optimization Cookbook, High-Performance Recipes for IA-32 Platforms, Richard Gerber, Aart JC Bik, Kevin B Smith, and Xinmin Tian, Intel Press, 2006
  6. ^ Intel C++ Compiler XE 130 User and Reference Guides
  7. ^ The pitfalls of verifying floating-point computations, by David Monniaux, also printed in ACM Transactions on programming languages and systems TOPLAS, May 2008; section 432 discusses nonstandard optimizations
  8. ^ This note is attached to the release in which Cilk Plus was introduced This ULR points to current documentation: http://softwareintelcom/en-us/intel-composer-xe/
  9. ^ Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 Release Notes1 http://softwareintelcom/en-us/articles/intel-c-composer-xe-2013-release-notes/
  10. ^ Intel C++ Composer XE 2013 Release Notes2 http://softwareintelcom/en-us/articles/intel-c-composer-xe-2013-release-notes/
  11. ^ "Intel® Compilers | Intel® Developer Zone" Intelcom 1999-02-22 Retrieved 2012-10-13 
  12. ^ 3 Archived March 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ http://developeramdcom/Assets/CompilerOptQuickRef-61004100pdf
  14. ^ Your Processor, Your Compiler, and You: The Case of the Secret CPUID String
  15. ^ a b Intel's "cripple AMD" function
  16. ^ http://downloadintelcom/pressroom/legal/AMD_settlement_agreementpdf
  17. ^ "Intel and US Federal Trade Commission Reach Tentative Settlement" Newsroomintelcom 2010-08-04 Retrieved 2012-10-13 
  18. ^ FTC, Intel Reach Settlement; Intel Banned From Anticompetitive Practices
  19. ^ "Optimization Notice" Intel Corporation Retrieved 11 December 2013 
  20. ^ http://wwwtheregistercouk/2013/07/12/intel_atom_didnt_beat_arm

External linksedit

  • Intel C++ Compiler for Android
  • Compilers in Parallel Studio XE 2013
  • Cilk Plus Open Source Site
  • TBB Open Source Site
  • Free download of Intel compilers for non-commercial use

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Intel C++ Compiler

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