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What’s New in IDL 8.7.3

This article contains release notes for IDL 8.7.3. See the following sections:

Supported Platforms

Platform Hardware Operating System Supported Versions
Windows Intel/AMD 64-bit Windows 10
Macintosh Intel 64-bit OSX 10.14, 10.15*
Linux Intel/AMD 64-bit Linux Kernel 3.10.0 or higher, glibc 2.17 or higher

* If you are installing IDL on a Mac 10.15 operating system, or if you have IDL installed on a previous Mac OS and are upgrading to 10.15, please refer to this Help Article before you begin the installation.

An X-Windows manager is required for Macintosh. IDL was tested using XQuartz 2.7.11.

Supported versions indicate that IDL was either built on the lowest version listed or tested on that version. You can install and run IDL on other versions that are binary-compatible.

The 64-bit Windows installer contains 32-bit binaries so that you can launch IDL in 32-bit mode on 64-bit Windows systems. You can find the 32-bit versions of IDL in the Windows Start menu under Programs > IDL x.x > 32-bit or Programs > ENVI x.x > IDL x.x > 32-bit.

IDL Help requires an HTML5-compatible browser.

New Features


IDL now uses the Intel® MKL library to compute matrix multiplications, resulting in a speed increase between 10 and 50 times faster than in previous versions. This change affects the # and ## operators, as well as the functions MATRIX_MULTIPLY and MATRIX_POWER. If you want more control and features on how to compute matrix multiplications, use this new procedure.


The new SOBOLSEQUENCE function generates numbers from the Sobol sequence. A Sobol sequence is a low discrepancy quasi-random sequence. Sobol sequences were designed to fill space in a more uniform manner than completely random sampling. See SOBOLSEQUENCE for details.

Library Updates

Added the Intel Math Kernel Library (MKL).