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Intel upgrades tools for Apple Leopard developers

Intel Corp. upgraded its software development tools for Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X Leopard operating system, keeping a promise to Apple and pushing Mac applications to its brand new Penryn chips.

Intel on Wednesday announced that the Intel Software Development Products for Mac OS X includes Version 10.1 of its C++ Compiler and Fortran Compiler.

The tools have been optimized for Apple's Leopard and Xcode 3.0 development environment, which was launched last month, said James Reinders, a product evangelist at Intel.

The tools, which also include libraries, have been upgraded to use features in Intel's latest 45-nanometer Penryn microprocessor, he added.

"We had the opportunity to update with some new enhancements to take better advantage of multicore, but the other big thing is Leopard," said Reinders. "We've got full support for 64 bit because Leopard added 64 bit top to bottom.

We've had pretty good support before, but the release of Leopard and the update to our tools completes that picture, giving them an easier way to write programs."

He also noted that when Apple started using Intel chips, the company looked to Intel to provide software developers with the tools they would need to make writing Mac applications easier.

"When Intel and Apple got together, they were very specific in their interest in our tools. At that time, we did promise that we would have a C++ and a Fortran compiler in our libraries," said Reinders.

"We made good on that promise. In this day and age, software developers have come to believe that some of the most basic tools -- compilers and libraries -- just need to be there.

The more sophisticated microprocessors get, the more people look to Intel to supply these basic tools, like compilers and libraries, to take advantage of these processors."

Intel said that its new SSE4 instruction set is designed to increase multimedia performance. The set first came out with the launch of the Penryn chip family earlier this month.

Reinders noted that many of the upgrades to the tool set focus on optimizing applications for dual- and quad-core systems. He noted that Intel's compilers have autoparallelizing capabilities and libraries for Mac OS X.

"This is a significant step in that it brings full Intel support to the Mac operating environment," said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting.

"It will help application developers modernize their applications with multithreading so their applications can take better advantage of current and future multicore Intel processors.

This is very important, as applications that can't use multicore processors won't be able to provide better performance in the future."

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