Real-Time Unobtrusive Program Execution Trace Compression Using Branch Predictor Events

Download Now Date Added: Oct 2010
Format: PDF

Unobtrusive capturing of program execution traces in real-time is crucial in debugging cyber-physical systems. However, tracing even limited program segments is often cost-prohibitive, requiring wide trace ports and large on-chip trace buffers. This paper introduces a new cost-effective technique for capturing and compressing program execution traces in real time. It uses branch predictor-like structures in the trace module to losslessly compress the traces. This approach results in high compression ratios because it only has to transmit misprediction events to the software debugger.