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January 2013 GNU Toolchain Update

Deep Thought
Hi Guys,

 Another month, another update.  This time round the highlight are:

  * The binutils now has support for the Imagination Technology's MetaG architecture and the MIPS R5900 variant, as found in the PlayStation 2.

 * The linker has two new command line options:

    -Trodata-segment=<addr>

     Which sets the start address of the read-only data segment, if the binary has one.

     -Tldata-segment=<addr>

     Which sets the start address of the ldata segment, if the binary has one.  (The ldata segment is found in the x86-64 medium memory model).

  * GCC has a new command line option:

     -fextern-tls-init

    The C++11 and OpenMP standards allow thread local and thread private variables to have dynamic (ie runtime) initialization.  To support this, any use of such a variable goes through a wrapper function that performs any necessary initialization.  When the use and definition of the variable are in the same translation unit, this overhead can be optimized away, but when the use is in a different translation unit there is significant overhead even if the variable doesn't actually need dynamic initialization.  If the programmer can be sure that no use of the variable in a non-defining TU needs to trigger dynamic initialization (either because the variable is statically initialized, or a use of the variable in the defining TU will be executed before any uses in another TU), they can avoid this overhead with the new -fno-extern-tls-init option.

    On targets that support symbol aliases, the default is -fextern-tls-init.  On targets that do not support symbol aliases, the default is -fno-extern-tls-init

  * GCC also now has a command line option to select which breed of linker to use:

    -fuse-ld=bfd nbsp;  Uses the old, bfd based, linker instead of the default linker.

   -fuse-ld=gold nbsp; Uses the new gold linker instead of the default linker.


  * GCC no longer supports multiple different garbage collection mechanisms.  Thus the gcc configure time option --with-gc has been deprecated.

Cheers
  Nick

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