Andrew Waterman, Co-Founder and Chief Engineer at SiFiveMarch 03, 2017

RISC-V GCC is upstreamed!

I'm thrilled to announce a milestone in RISC-V's adoption within the open-source software community: GCC, the popular compiler for GNU/Linux systems, has accepted the RISC-V backend for inclusion in its next release. We expect GCC 7.1 will ship with RISC-V support in late April. A robust compiler underpins nearly all other software development, and so I expect the availability of the GCC port will accelerate the development of applications, runtime libraries, and operating systems for RISC-V.

The RISC-V GCC port began shortly after the ISA design project kicked off in 2010, and so it is quite gratifying to see this seven-year cross-institutional effort come to fruition. I thank Richard Henderson and Joseph Myers, members of the GCC community who provided essential feedback and helped us see the port through to acceptance. Kito Cheng and Palmer Dabbelt led the testing and upstreaming efforts, identifying and rectifying many of the bugs along the way. Yunsup Lee and Prof. Christopher Batten authored the MAVEN vector ISA port on which I based the primordial GCC 4.4 port many years ago.

While I've focused my efforts on GCC thus far, open standards like RISC-V naturally encourage a diversity of implementations. Indeed, an LLVM backend for RISC-V is well underway. Just as I hope our experiences bringing up the GCC backend will simplify the task facing the authors of the LLVM port, I'm sure the insights they will garner in the process will improve the quality of the GCC port.

We all anticipate the great work the open-source community will accomplish with these tools.