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VS Code C++ Tool Broadens ARM/ARM64 Reach

The November 2020 monthly update to the Visual Studio C++ extension continues Microsoft's embrace of ARM and ARM64 architectures, used in CPUs for mobile devices because of power efficiency and other characteristics.

Microsoft earlier introduced new ARM/ARM64 support on Linux, saying at the time, "The C++ extension brings a first-class development experience for Linux on ARM and ARM64, complete with IntelliSense and remote build and debug support. You can now develop C++ applications on Raspberry Pi with VS Code and Remote-SSH!"

That reach has now been broadened with the introduction of downloadable VS Code builds for the ARM architectures, helping VS Code developers use the C++ tool for Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, Surface Pro X and other ARM-based devices.

S Code ARM Builds
[Click on image for larger view.] VS Code ARM Builds (source: Microsoft).

The dev team also continued work on bringing C++ IntelliSense and build support for Windows ARM64, Linux ARM and Linux ARM64 architectures.

Microsoft of course supports ARM on Windows 10 and the company has been making a big push to embrace ARM/ARM64 architectures across a variety of dev products for the flagship OS and other targets, including OpenJDK, WinUI, .NET 5 and more.

"Microsoft has dabbled in ARM processors for quite some time," said Brien Posey, an author at our sister site, Redmond, in a July article. "The company's original Surface RT tablets were based on ARM processors, as is the current-generation Surface Pro X. That device uses a CPU that was jointly developed by Microsoft and Qualcomm.

"So clearly, Microsoft has an interest in ARM processors. The big question is whether Microsoft will ever transition its Surface devices completely away from using Intel processors."

Microsoft's C/C++ extension in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace has been installed more than 15.8 million times, earning an average 3.6 rating (scale to 5) from 383 developers who reviewed it. The tool's development is carried out on GitHub here.

The extension also comes bundled in the C/C++ Extension Pack, which also includes:

Note that while Microsoft touted new ARM-related functionality in the November update, more work needs to be done. The announcement post published today (Dec. 8), points to the release notes, which themselves point to Issue #5583, "Support Windows ARM64 (Surface Pro X)," which states: "We have a Windows ARM64 1.1.0-insiders3 vsix at https://github.com/microsoft/vscode-cpptools/releases/download/1.1.0-insiders3/cpptools-win-arm64.vsix. Debugging isn't enabled yet though."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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