Interface Design for Synthesized Structural Hybrid Microarchitectural Simulators [abstract] (DOI, PDF)
Zhuo Ruan and David A. Penry
Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD), October 2012.

Computer designers rely upon near-cycle-accurate microarchitectural simulators to explore the design space of new systems. Hybrid simulators which offload simulation work onto FPGAs overcome the speed limitations of software-only simulators as systems become more complex, however, such simulators must be automatically synthesized or the time to design them becomes prohibitive. The performance of a hybrid simulator is significantly affected by how the interface between software and hardware is constructed. We characterize the design space of interfaces for synthesized structural hybrid microarchitectural simulators, provide implementations for several such interfaces, and determine the tradeoffs involved in choosing an efficient design candidate.