Processors Investigate

Feather-Trace: A Light-Weight Event Tracing Toolkit

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Executive Summary

The authors present a light-weight event tracing toolkit for real-time operating systems on the Intel x86 platform. Their approach is wait-free, multiprocessor-safe, and introduces very low overhead. Only a single unconditional jump instruction is required to distinguish between enabled and disabled events. As a case study, they traced the locking behavior of the Linux kernel and several soft real-time multimedia applications. Their results provide strong support for the wide-spread assumption that short non-nested critical sections are the common case in practice.

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