A Configurable Framework for Investigating Workload Execution
Processor systems contain a limited number of hardware counters that provide some visibility for certain types of interactions, but do not support sophisticated analysis due to limited resources. By contrast, system software simulators provide multidimensional run-time data, but slowdown application execution, often resulting in an inaccurate picture of hardware/software interactions. The ideal solution to this problem is to create a dedicated hardware unit to "Watch" the processor for these types of behaviours. In this paper, the authors present a hardware framework that leverages an FPGA's reconfigurable fabric to investigate of workload execution behaviours on processors using a hArdware-Based Analyzer for the Characterization of User Software (ABACUS).