Original Publication Date: 1995-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
A tool for visualizing instruction- and/or data-cache utilization is disclosed.
A tool for
visualizing instruction- and/or data-cache
utilization is disclosed.
cache visualization tool employs a graphical
representation of the cache that is continually updated to represent
its internal state. Color is used to present the aging and frequency
of access of data in the cache, while three-dimensional widgets are
used to indicate conflicts in the cache. Visualization can be
interrupted at any time to probe the cause for any unusual behavior
indicated by the tool.
representation consists of a two-dimensional grid
of the words in the cache, arranged by cache line and associativity.
Each word is represented by a three-dimensional widget. The color of
the widget, ranging in a spectrum from green to red, indicates the
staleness of the data stored in that word (green being the oldest,
red the newest). A lack of color (i.e., indistinguishable from the
background) indicates invalid data, while a white-hot entry indicates
data that is being accessed repeatedly. As virtual (simulation) time
passes, the color of each widget is updated to reflect its status.
In addition, the three-dimensional widgets grow in height to reflect
conflicts in the cache. That is, every time a cache line is cast out
because another reference maps to that same line, the widget grows in
size. Each widget is also a hyperlink to a history record containing
information about recent references to that word...