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SimICS/sun4m: A virtual workstation
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), ICT, SICS.
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
University of Karlskrona/Ronneby, Sweden.
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
Show others and affiliations
2019 (English)In: USENIX 1998 Annual Technical Conference, USENIX Association , 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

System level simulators allow computer architects and system software designers to recreate an accurate and complete replica of the program behavior of a target system, regardless of the availability, existence, or instrumentation support of such a system. Applications include evaluation of architectural design alternatives as well as software engineering tasks such as traditional debugging and performance tuning. We present an implementation of a simulator acting as a virtual workstation fully compatible with the sun4m architecture from Sun Microsystems. Built using the system-level SPARC V8 simulator SimICS, SimICS/sun4m models one or more SPARC V8 processors, supports user-developed modules for data cache and instruction cache simulation and execution profiling of all code, and provides a symbolic and performance debugging environment for operating systems. SimICS/sun4m can boot unmodified operating systems, including Linux 2.0.30 and Solaris 2.6, directly from snapshots of disk partitions. To support essentially arbitrary code, we implemented binary-compatible simulators for several devices, including SCSI, console, interrupt, timers, EEPROM, and Ethernet. The Ethernet simulation hooks into the host and allows the virtual workstation to appear on the local network with full services available (NFS, NIS, rsh, etc). Ethernet and console traffic can be recorded for future playback. The performance of SimICS/sun4m is sufficient to run realistic workloads, such as the database benchmark TPC-D, scaling factor 1/100, or an interactive network application such as Mozilla. The slowdown in relation to native hardware is in the range of 25 to 75 (measured using SPECint95). We also demonstrate some applications, including modeling an 8-processor sun4m version (which does not exist), modeling future memory hierarchies, and debugging an operating system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
USENIX Association , 2019.
Keywords [en]
Application programs, Benchmarking, Cache memory, Codes (symbols), Computer operating systems, Ethernet, Petroleum reservoir evaluation, Simulators, Computer architects, Fully compatible, Instruction caches, Interactive network applications, Performance debugging, Performance tuning, System level simulator, System softwares, Program debugging
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-43931Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85077737843OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-43931DiVA, id: diva2:1392972
Conference
USENIX 1998 Annual Technical Conference, 15 June 1998 through 19 June 1998
Available from: 2020-02-14 Created: 2020-02-14 Last updated: 2020-02-19Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Fredrik

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