Architectural Simulators

November/December 2015

IEEE Micro magazine cover

Much as Edgar Dijkstra in 1968 observed the dangers of relying on the "go to" statement, the authors of this article observe the detrimental effect of overreliance on quantitative simulators. Over time, simulator tools have become more complex and sophisticated. While this seems beneficial, new generations of simulators are built with easily abused modeling abstractions, some with poorly modeled first-order phenomenon. Users treat simulators as black boxes, ignoring their potential errors and relying on validation to irrelevant design points. The lack of documentation and specification makes finding or even being aware of errors challenging. Simultaneously, reviewers demand that researchers use simulation in domains where better approaches exist. The authors elucidate the problems by describing three broad pitfalls of simulators and simulator use, considering examples from modern tools, and they discuss how to avoid each problem. Finally, they propose one consideration for recalibrating evaluation standards: the footprint, which is the breadth of architectural layers that a technique affects. READ FULL ARTICLE » (requires login)

About IEEE Micro

IEEE Micro focuses on computers and peripherals; systems, components, and subassemblies; communications, instrumentation and control equipment; and software. Micro brings together top research from some of the leading microarchitects and scholars from around the world.

Articles from IEEE Micro

Nonvolatile Processor Architecture Exploration for Energy-Harvesting Applications

Nonvolatile Processor Architecture Exploration for Energy-Harvesting Applications

The design of nonvolatile processors (NVPs) for batteryless applications that use ambient energy-harvesting in the Internet of Things (IoT) include design factors and tradeoffs involved in optimization. Read full article »

Decoupled Control and Data Processing for Approximate Near-Threshold Voltage Computing

Decoupled Control and Data Processing for Approximate Near-Threshold Voltage Computing

To improve energy efficiency in near-threshold voltage computing, RMS (Recognition, Mining, and Synthesis) applications can be used to deal with errors related to the addition of more cores. Read full article »

Multimedia

Podcast: Micro Economics

Micro Economics Podcast logo

An Honest Policy Wonk
This podcast addresses regulatory capture, examining when the regulatory environment works in spite of it due to the presence of an honest policy wonk. More Micro Economics Podcast »