ADA Develops New Tool for gem5 Simulations

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.

Lapidary's code and instructions are available on GitHub. Neal also published an article on Medium about this project

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 iangneal@umich.edu.