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Intel has released version 5.0 of its C++ and Fortran compilers with extensions to utilise the new features available in the upcoming 32-bit Pentium 4, due for launch next Monday. There's also a pre-release version for the 64-bit Itanium which can be used on systems based on Intel 32-bit Pentium processors to create 64-bit executables.

Intel has added support for new features such as autovectorisation and OpenMP from Kuck and Associates (KAI), which it bought in April. OpenMP makes it easier to develop applications for multiprocessor computers and uses high-level directives rather than a low-level operating system interface.

The compilers also have enhanced optimisation features from earlier releases, including interprocedural optimisation, vectorisation, and profile-guided optimisation. They also come with enhanced intrinsics and class libraries that add the Pentium 4 processor to the list of supported processors. The intrinsics and the class library remove the need to program directly in assembly language.

Both compilers plug into Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment and the 32-bit C++ Compiler is source and object code compatible with Microsoft Visual C++. This allows application modules generated with either compiler to be linked together into larger executables, and developers can use the Intel compiler on processor specific modules without having to recompile the entire application. The Fortran Compiler is 'substantially source-code compatible' with Compaq Visual Fortran.

The C/C++ Compiler lists at $399 if downloaded from the Web and $499 on CD, while the Fortran Compiler is $449 downloaded and $599 on CD. ®

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