Microprocessor research and development increasingly relies on detailed simulations to make design choices. As such, the structure, speed, and accuracy of microarchitectural simulators is of critical importance to the field. This paper describes our experiences in building two simulators, using related but distinct approaches. One of the most important attributes of a simulator is its ability to accurately convey design trends as different aspects of the microarchitecture are varied. In this work, we break down accuracy - a broad term - into two sub-types: relative and absolute accuracy. We then discuss typical abstraction errors in power-performance simulators and show when they do (or do not) affect the design rule choices a user of those simulator might make. By performing this validation study using the Wattch and PowerTimer simulators, the work addresses validation issues both broadly and in the specific case of a fairly widely-used simulator.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications