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Accelerating Graphics in the Simics Full-System Simulator

Nilsson, Eric; Aarno, Daniel; Carstensen, Erik and Grahn, Håkan (2015) IEEE 23rd International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS 2015)
p.150-153
Abstract
Virtual platforms provide benefits to developers in terms of a more rapid development cycle since development may begin before next-generation hardware is available. However, there is a distinct lack of graphics virtualization in industry-grade virtual platforms, leading to performance issues that may reduce the benefits virtual platforms otherwise have over execution on actual hardware. This paper demonstrates graphics acceleration by the means of paravirtualizing OpenGL ES in the Wind River Simics full-system simulator. We propose a solution for paravirtualized graphics using magic instructions to share memory between target and host systems, and present an implementation utilizing this method. The study illustrates the benefits and... (More)
Virtual platforms provide benefits to developers in terms of a more rapid development cycle since development may begin before next-generation hardware is available. However, there is a distinct lack of graphics virtualization in industry-grade virtual platforms, leading to performance issues that may reduce the benefits virtual platforms otherwise have over execution on actual hardware. This paper demonstrates graphics acceleration by the means of paravirtualizing OpenGL ES in the Wind River Simics full-system simulator. We propose a solution for paravirtualized graphics using magic instructions to share memory between target and host systems, and present an implementation utilizing this method. The study illustrates the benefits and drawbacks of paravirtualized graphics acceleration and presents a performance analysis of strengths and weaknesses compared to software rasterization. Additionally, benchmarks are devised to stress key aspects in the solution, such as communication latency and computationally intensive applications. We assess paravirtualization as a viable method to accelerate graphics in system simulators, this reduces frame times up to 34 times compared to that of software rasterization. Furthermore, magic instructions are identified as the primary bottleneck of communication latency in the implementation. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
host publication
2015 IEEE 23rd International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems
pages
150 - 153
publisher
IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
conference name
IEEE 23rd International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS 2015) <br/>
conference location
Atlanta, United States
conference dates
2015-10-05 - 2015-10-07
external identifiers
  • scopus:84962262621
ISBN
978-1-4673-7720-1
DOI
10.1109/MASCOTS.2015.33
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
b73c5f47-7caf-40c1-be9b-b27f3645818f
date added to LUP
2018-09-26 10:14:15
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:27:42
@inproceedings{b73c5f47-7caf-40c1-be9b-b27f3645818f,
  abstract     = {Virtual platforms provide benefits to developers in terms of a more rapid development cycle since development may begin before next-generation hardware is available. However, there is a distinct lack of graphics virtualization in industry-grade virtual platforms, leading to performance issues that may reduce the benefits virtual platforms otherwise have over execution on actual hardware. This paper demonstrates graphics acceleration by the means of paravirtualizing OpenGL ES in the Wind River Simics full-system simulator. We propose a solution for paravirtualized graphics using magic instructions to share memory between target and host systems, and present an implementation utilizing this method. The study illustrates the benefits and drawbacks of paravirtualized graphics acceleration and presents a performance analysis of strengths and weaknesses compared to software rasterization. Additionally, benchmarks are devised to stress key aspects in the solution, such as communication latency and computationally intensive applications. We assess paravirtualization as a viable method to accelerate graphics in system simulators, this reduces frame times up to 34 times compared to that of software rasterization. Furthermore, magic instructions are identified as the primary bottleneck of communication latency in the implementation.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Eric and Aarno, Daniel and Carstensen, Erik and Grahn, Håkan},
  isbn         = { 978-1-4673-7720-1},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Atlanta, United States},
  pages        = {150--153},
  publisher    = {IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.},
  title        = {Accelerating Graphics in the Simics Full-System Simulator},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MASCOTS.2015.33},
  year         = {2015},
}