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RSIM: Simulating Shared-Memory Multiprocessors with ILP Processors
February 2002 (vol. 35 no. 2)
pp. 40-49

The early 1990s saw several announcements of commercial shared-memory systems using processors that aggressively exploited instruction-level parallelism (ILP), including the MIPS R10000, Hewlett-Packard PA8000, and Intel Pentium Pro. These processors could potentially reduce memory read stalls by over-lapping read latency with other operations, possibly changing the nature of performance bottlenecks in the system.

The authors' experience with Rsim demonstrates that modeling ILP features is important even in shared-memory multiprocessor systems. In particular, current simple processor-based approximations cannot model significant performance effects for applications exhibiting parallel read misses. Further, recent shared-memory designs such as aggressive implementations of sequential consistency use the aggressive ILP-enhancing features of modern processors that simple processor-based simulators do not model.

As microprocessor systems become more complex, the availability of shared infrastructure source code is likely to become increasingly crucial. The authors plan to release a new Rsim version shortly that will include instruction caches, TLBs, multimedia extensions, simultaneous multithreading, Rabbit fast simulation mode, and ports to Linux platforms.

Christopher J. Hughes, Vijay S. Pai, Parthasarathy Ranganathan, Sarita V. Adve, "RSIM: Simulating Shared-Memory Multiprocessors with ILP Processors," Computer, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 40-49, Feb. 2002, doi:10.1109/2.982915
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