6.10. Complex Numbers
ISO C99 supports complex floating data types, and as an extension GCC
supports them in C89 mode and in C++, and supports complex integer data
types which are not part of ISO C99. You can declare complex types
using the keyword _Complex. As an extension, the older GNU
keyword __complex__ is also supported.
For example, _Complex double x; declares x as a
variable whose real part and imaginary part are both of type
double. _Complex short int y; declares y to
have real and imaginary parts of type short int; this is not
likely to be useful, but it shows that the set of complex types is
To write a constant with a complex data type, use the suffix i or
j (either one; they are equivalent). For example, 2.5fi
has type _Complex float and 3i has type
_Complex int. Such a constant always has a pure imaginary
value, but you can form any complex value you like by adding one to a
real constant. This is a GNU extension; if you have an ISO C99
conforming C library (such as GNU libc), and want to construct complex
constants of floating type, you should include <complex.h> and
use the macros I or _Complex_I instead.
To extract the real part of a complex-valued expression exp, write
__real__ exp. Likewise, use __imag__ to
extract the imaginary part. This is a GNU extension; for values of
floating type, you should use the ISO C99 functions crealf,
creal, creall, cimagf, cimag and
cimagl, declared in <complex.h> and also provided as
built-in functions by GCC.
The operator ~ performs complex conjugation when used on a value
with a complex type. This is a GNU extension; for values of
floating type, you should use the ISO C99 functions conjf,
conj and conjl, declared in <complex.h> and also
provided as built-in functions by GCC.
GCC can allocate complex automatic variables in a noncontiguous
fashion; it's even possible for the real part to be in a register while
the imaginary part is on the stack (or vice-versa). Only the DWARF2
debug info format can represent this, so use of DWARF2 is recommended.
If you are using the stabs debug info format, GCC describes a noncontiguous
complex variable as if it were two separate variables of noncomplex type.
If the variable's actual name is foo, the two fictitious
variables are named foo$real and foo$imag. You can
examine and set these two fictitious variables with your debugger.