Browse Prior Art Database

A Method for Displaying Processor Activity on Alphanumeric Displays

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123240D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 82K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Barenys, MA: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A method is disclosed for effectively sampling and displaying processor activity in a multiprocessor system. Sampling is accomplished via a non-obtrusive method of integrating a processor activity line and sampling over a two-wire serial bus at regular intervals. The information is displayed on an alphanumeric display by creating special characters to create a graphical representation of the data.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

A Method for Displaying Processor Activity on Alphanumeric Displays

   A method is disclosed for effectively sampling
and displaying processor activity in a multiprocessor system.
Sampling is accomplished via a non-obtrusive method of integrating a
processor activity line and sampling over a two-wire serial bus at
regular intervals.  The information is displayed on an alphanumeric
display by creating special characters to create a graphical
representation of the data.

   Most high-power servers and mainframes on the market today
are multiprocessor systems.  Users demand information about the
activity on each of the processors in the system.  Processor
activity can be measured very accurately using special software, but
this method is inefficient and consumes system resources.  Hardware
implementations of processor activity meters often use expensive and
intrusive hardware, with a great deal of attention given to the
accuracy of the measurement.  However, most users do not have a need
for such precise data, but rather desire a general idea of the amount
of activity that each processor is experiencing.

   A simple, non-obtrusive method for measuring the processor
activity is to sample an activity line from each of the processors
in the system.  Sampling is done using hardware that operates
independently for each processor.  A single logic bit from the each
processor indicates whether it is active or inactive, thereby not
using up valuable system resources.  By sampling this line at a
sufficiently fast rate, the average processor activity for a given
period of time can be determined.  Several systems are available
today that take advantage of this method.  One implementation uses a
microprocessor to sample the processor activity and then creates a
graphical representation of the data on banks of LED displays.  While
this method is effective in systems with a small number of
processors, in larger systems the banks of LEDs become very
cumbersome in space and cost.

   Sampling the data only provides a rough estimate of the
processor activity.  Results can be improved by using an integrator
and an A/D converter to tabulate...