Traces as a Solution to Pessimism and Modeling Costs in WCET Analysis

Authors Jack Whitham, Neil Audsley

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Jack Whitham
Neil Audsley

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Jack Whitham and Neil Audsley. Traces as a Solution to Pessimism and Modeling Costs in WCET Analysis. In 8th International Workshop on Worst-Case Execution Time Analysis (WCET'08). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 8, pp. 1-8, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


WCET analysis models for superscalar out-of-order CPUs generally need to be pessimistic in order to account for a wide range of possible dynamic behavior. CPU hardware modifications could be used to constrain operations to known execution paths called traces, permitting exploitation of instruction level parallelism with guaranteed timing. Previous implementations of traces have used microcode to constrain operations, but other possibilities exist. A new implementation strategy (virtual traces) is introduced here. In this paper the benefits and costs of traces are discussed. Advantages of traces include a reduction in pessimism in WCET analysis, with the need to accurately model CPU internals removed. Disadvantages of traces include a reduction of peak throughput of the CPU, a need for deterministic memory and a potential increase in the complexity of WCET models.
  • WCET superscalar cpu virtual traces


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