Just this past week, a senior radio telescope astronomer told me about the shift from C++ back to Fortran in his corner of the world. It is all about efficiency. He believes this is a trend that will get stronger as we head to ExaFLOP scale machines at the end of this decade.
I'm sure C++ has nothing to fear, but neither does Fortran.
As far as we can tell, there are more Fortran programmers today than ever. Fortran is almost certainly a smaller % of the market than ten years ago but numerically it has grown. This is because the Fortran population is not growing nearly as fast as programming in general. But it is an important piece of the pie.
And judging by the growth of science and high performance computing, this will continue.
Intel Fortran compilers are leading the way in performance, features and support for new standards.
Dr. Fortran gave a very nice interview about "Why Fortran Matters." (picked up by HPCwire too)
We've posted performance data with leading results on key benchmarks with the Intel Fortran Compiler which supports Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
But you do not have to rely on us alone - Polyhedron benchmark results independently show benchmarking of Intel with leading performance on Intel processors and non-Intel processors both.
Intel is supporting Fortran related standards very strongly:
- Coarray Fortran (optimized support for both shared memory and distributed memory)
- much of Fortran 2003 and 2008 (we are working to lead in getting these both implemented)
Our aim is to be the best Fortran compiler available any where. While we believe our compilers and libraries are excellent choices to assist in obtaining the best performance on Intel and non-Intel microprocessors, we recommend that you evaluate other compilers and libraries to determine which best meet your requirements. We hope to win your Fortran business by striving to offer the best performance of any compiler or library; please let us know if you find we do not. For more information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.
We know Fortran matters, and we aim to earn your Fortran business.
And if you were thinking Fortran was a dying language - think again. It is doing quite nicely, thank you.
Punchcards and magnetic tape usage is dying out though, should you be wondering about that.