The Intel® C++ Compiler compiles C and C++ source files for Intel® 64 architecture.

Start using the compiler from the command line or within Xcode*.


Before you can use this tool, you must first set the environment variables by running the environment script as described in the edition-specific Getting Started documentation.

Using the Command Line

To invoke the compiler from the command line, use a command similar to the following:

  • For C source files: icc my_source_file.c or icl my_source_file.c

  • For C++ source files: icpc my_source_file.cpp or icl++ my_source_file.cpp

Following successful compilation, the compiler creates an executable file in the current directory.

icl/icl++ is a Clang-based front-end. You can use Clang options with this compiler. icc/icpc is an EDG-based front-end. You cannot use Clang options with icc/icpc.

Start from Xcode*

There are two compilers you can use:

  • ICL Intel® C++ Compiler - this compiler has a Clang-based front-end and is invoked using the icl/icl++ command. You can use Clang options with this compiler.

  • ICC Intel® C++ Compiler - this compiler has a EDG-based front-end and is invoked using the icc/icpc command. You cannot use Clang options with this compiler.

You must first create or choose an existing Xcode* project. These instructions assume you are using an existing project.

  1. Select the target you want to change and click Build Rules.

  2. Add a new rule by clicking a + button or using Editor > Add Build Rule.

  3. Under Process, select C source files or C++ source files depending on the source files.

  4. Under Using, select either ICL or ICC Intel® C++ Compiler 16.0.

  5. Select the target to be built in the project editor under Targets.

  6. Select Product > Build.

Documentation and Resources

Document Description

Online Training

The online training site is an excellent resource for training on using the compiler:

Release Notes

Information on the product installation, new and changed features, and issues that are not described in the product documentation.


Online Intel® C++ Compiler code samples -

User and Reference Guide for Intel® C++ Compiler 16.0

The Intel® Compiler documentation contains information on:

  • How to use the command line or Xcode*

  • Support for technologies including Intel® Cilk™ Plus

  • Compiler reference material, including options, program structures, class and math libraries, and much more

Intel® Software Documentation Library

Documentation for the Intel® C++ Compiler on the Intel® Developer Zone.

Other help

You can access general help for compiler options by entering icc -help at the command line.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.