MICRO-41 Tutorial

A tutorial on COTSon was held at MICRO-41 in Lake Como (Italy). The slides used for the tutorial can be found at the end of this page. We also recorded the tutorial and the videos can be found in the Videos page.


This tutorial is divided into two main parts:

Part I describes the internals of AMD’s SimNow™, the functional simulator of COTSon. AMD's SimNow software is designed to be a fast and configurable x86 and AMD64 dynami cally-translating instruction-level platform simulator. With SimNow, users can connect complex software models to form a PC platform emulation environment. SimNow software is being used to emulate AMD Athlon™ 64 and AMD Opteron™ multiprocessor systems that run commercial operation systems and applications. Some of the current usages of AMD’s SimNow include BIOS and device driver development, modeling of future platform tradeoffs for correctness and performance, OS testing, and evaluation of new instruction set architectures

Part II of this tutorial describes the extensions implemented over SimNow to allow for accurate and fast performance estimation of large-scale systems. One of the most challenging parts of COTSon is the ability of extracting events (in the form of instructions, memory accesses, device requests, etc.) from SimNow with out affecting its extraordinary execution speed. In this part of the tutor ial we firstly explain how to perform a single node simulation, including supporting devices, at a desired accuracy and speed. Finally, we explain how to use COTSon to simulate scaled up (shared-memory, multi-core nodes) and scaled out (distributed-memory, multi-node clusters) systems. Throughout the tutorial, we will show demonstrations of the simulation environment so that tutorial attendees can fully understand the potential of COTSon simulation environment.


  • Introduction (15')
  • AMD's SimNow Simulator (45')
    • SimNow Lab
  • COTSon Architecture (30')
  • COTSon Labs (1h15')
    • Functional simulation
    • Simple timers
    • Memory tracer
    • Timing feedback
    • Samplers
    • Selective tracing
    • Network & disk simulation
  • Wrap-up and conclusion (15')


  • Introductory slides [pdf]
  • AMD's SimNow [pdf]
  • COTSon architecture & COTSon Labs [pdf]


Videos recorded at the MICRO-41 tutorial can be found in the "Videos" section.
Feb 3, 2009, 5:49 AM
Jan 9, 2009, 6:38 AM
Jan 9, 2009, 6:38 AM