intrinsic pragma

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


#pragma intrinsic( function_1 [, function_2 ... ] )


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:

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

x86-specific example

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() {

Intrinsic floating-point functions

These floating-point functions don't have true intrinsic forms. Instead, they have versions that pass arguments directly to the floating-point chip, rather than pushing them on the stack:

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

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 and disable intrinsics for a block of source text.

See also

Pragma directives and the __pragma and _Pragma keywords
Compiler intrinsics