intrinsic pragma

Specifies that calls to functions specified in the pragma's argument list are intrinsic.


#pragma intrinsic( function1 [, function2 ... ] )


The intrinsic pragma tells the compiler that a function has known behavior. The compiler may call the function and not replace the function call with inline instructions, if it will result in better performance.

The library functions with intrinsic forms are listed below. Once an intrinsic pragma is seen, it takes effect at the first function definition containing a specified intrinsic function. The effect continues to the end of the source file or to the appearance of a function pragma specifying the same intrinsic function. The intrinsic pragma can be used only outside of a function definition, at the global level.

The following functions have intrinsic forms, and the intrinsic forms are used when you specify /Oi:

_disable _outp fabs strcmp
_enable _outpw labs strcpy
_inp _rotl memcmp strlen
_inpw _rotr memcpy
_lrotl _strset memset
_lrotr abs strcat

Programs that use intrinsic functions are faster because they don't have the overhead of function calls, but may be larger because of the additional code generated.

x86 Specific

The _disable and _enable intrinsics generate kernel-mode instructions to disable or enable interrupts, and could be useful in kernel-mode drivers.


Compile the following code from the command line with cl -c -FAs sample.c and look at sample.asm to see that they turn into x86 instructions CLI and STI:

// pragma_directive_intrinsic.cpp
// processor: x86
#include <dos.h>   // definitions for _disable, _enable
#pragma intrinsic(_disable)
#pragma intrinsic(_enable)
void f1(void) {
   // do some work here that should not be interrupted
int main() {

End x86 Specific

The floating-point functions listed below don't have true intrinsic forms. Instead they have versions that pass arguments directly to the floating-point chip rather than pushing them onto the program stack:

acos cosh pow tanh
asin fmod sinh

The floating-point functions listed below have true intrinsic forms when you specify /Oi, /Og, and /fp:fast (or any option that includes /Og: /Ox, /O1, and /O2):

atan exp log10 sqrt
atan2 log sin tan

You can use /fp:strict or /Za to override generation of true intrinsic floating-point options. In this case, the functions are generated as library routines that pass arguments directly to the floating-point chip instead of pushing them onto the program stack.

See #pragma function for information and an example on how to enable/disable intrinsics for a block of source text.

See also

Pragma directives and the __pragma keyword
Compiler Intrinsics