Link to CALCM Home  

Active Emulation: Expanding Evaluation Context via Outward Replications of Experimental Design Impacts

Tuesday October 12, 2004
Hamerschlag Hall D-210
4:00 pm

Eriko Nurvitadhi
Carnegie Mellon University

Recently, real-time hardware-based cache emulators have been proposed as an alternative approach to software-based simulators. Real-time emulation provides several advantages over simulation, such as faster run-time and smaller storage requirements. However, existing emulators are passive. They obtain traces from the system under test (host) in real-time and process them for emulation in the hardware. This approach limits the context in which an experimental design is evaluated as performance measurements can be gathered only within the boundary of the emulator. This is because the impacts on the experimental design on the real-system hosting the emulator are not replicated. In order to extract performance measurements from the host system itself, the emulator has to replicate the impacts of the experimental design from the host system perspective. We propose the concept of active emulation in which the hardware actually replicates the impact of an experimental design under study on the host system (i.e. outward replication). This allows for expanding the boundary of the evaluation of the experimental design from the emulator context to system-wide context. This concept is implemented in the Active Cache Emulator (ACE), an FPGA-based cache emulator that has the capability to induce delay to the front-side bus of its host system for active emulation of cache delays. This talk will present the preliminary work with ACE. The notion of active emulation, along with the design, implementation, and evaluation of ACE will be presented. Lastly, current status, challenges and future work of this research will be discussed.

Eriko Nurvitadhi is a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon. He received his BSs, BA, MS, and MBA degrees from Oregon State University. His current research is in the emulation framework for the TRUSS project. His advisor is Prof. James Hoe.


Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversitySchool of Computer Science