Traces as a Solution to Pessimism and Modeling Costs in WCET Analysis

Jack Whitham & Neil Audsley
WCET analysis models for superscalar out-of-order CPUs generally need to be pessimistic in order to account for a wide range of possible dynamic behavior. CPU hardware modifications could be used to constrain operations to known execution paths called traces, permitting exploitation of instruction level parallelism with guaranteed timing. Previous implementations of traces have used microcode to constrain operations, but other possibilities exist. A new implementation strategy (virtual traces) is introduced here. In this paper the...