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Gone are the days when one or two expert architects would use hunches, experience, and rules of thumb to determine a processor?s features. Marketplace competition has long since forced companies to replace this ad hoc process with a targeted and highly systematic process that focuses new designs on specific workloads. At the core of these processes are models of the processor?s performance and its workloads. Developing and verifying these models is the domain now called performance analysis. However, a systematic design process has some disadvantages because it can constrain the diversity and accuracy of the workloads we can measure. These are hot problems in performance analysis. In this article, the authors describe the advances in performance analysis over the last decade, focusing on architectural performance. They predict that the industry will soon need new simulation methods to accommodate future processors. Researchers have presented some of these advanced simulation methodologies at past workshops on Performance Analysis and its Impact on Design (PAID) workshops. This article?a tutorial?is the one of three articles in this issue about performance analysis. It is accompanied by articles based on presentations from last year?s workshop. Although the PAID workshops focus on computer (hardware- software) systems, these techniques are in many ways universal and adaptable to the analysis of other performance-critical systems.

T. M. Conte and P. Bose, "Performance Analysis and Its Impact on Design," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 41-49, 1998.
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