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Adding to the choice of development tools for Apple Macintosh range, IBM is privately making two compilers available to its customers in beta form this week, The Register has learned.

Big Blue released the XL Fortran Advanced Edition yesterday with support for Mac OS X. XL had previously only been available for AIX and Linux. Fortran remains an essential tool in large scientific clusters, and IBM helped Apple into a Top Three spot in the supercomputer league with a 2,200 node G5 cluster at Virginia Tech. Interest in using the Mac in scientific environments is growing, with Terra Soft scoring a win with the US Navy for Xserve racks running its Yellow Dog Linux distro.

Of wider interest will be IBM's new C++ compiler for the Mac. XL C/C++ Advanced Edition 6.0 uses GNU's gdb debugger, and takes advantage of frameworks such as Carbon, and the Altivec SIMD engine.

Big Blue designed the PowerPC processor and its latest incarnation, the 970, or "G5", so its engineers have ten years of experience with the architecture. Both tools also target the G4 processor, however, and integrate with Apple's Xcode IDE. ®

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