ADA researchers at the University of Michigan have developed Lapidary, a new tool enabling more efficient gem5 simulations. Lapidary creates gem5 checkpoints on bare-metal to avoid the weeks of simulation usually required to create viable checkpoints. It takes core dumps of the program through gdb (along with gathering other miscellaneous process state information) and transforms the output into a gem5-compatible checkpoint. The tool then performs short simulations over many checkpoints (in accordance with the SMARTS sampling methodology) to produce statistically significant performance measurements.
This tool was developed by PhD student Ian Neal, Professor Baris Kasikci, and Professor Thomas Wenisch.
Before releasing this to the broader public and exploring upstreaming to the gem5 project, the developers are looking for feedback from more architects on Lapidary, specifically on how useful it is and possible features to add. For more information or to provide feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the computing industry struggles to maintain its historically rapid pace of innovation, the ADA Center, based at the University of Michigan, aims to streamline and democratize the design and manufacturing of next-generation computing systems.
The Center for Applications Driving Architectures, or ADA, is developing a transformative, "plug-and-play" ecosystem to encourage a flood of fresh ideas in computing frontiers such as autonomous control, robotics and machine-learning.
Today, analysts worry that the industry is stagnating, caught between physical limits to the size of silicon transistors and the skyrocketing costs and complexity of system design.
"The electronic industry is facing many challenges going forward, and we stand a much better chance of solving these problems if we can make hardware design more accessible to a large pool of talent," said Valeria Bertacco, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor of computer science and engineering at U-M and director of the ADA Center. "We want to make it possible for anyone with motivation and a good idea to build novel high-performance computing systems."
The center is a five-year project that includes researchers from several leading universities.