MIPS Hot Spot Analyzer for Linux Kernel Profiling

The Hot Spot Analyzer (HSA), from MIPS Technologies (NasdaqGS: MIPS), is a new software utility for its family of System Navigator EJTAG probes that enables fast, accurate profiling of the Linux kernel. With the Hot Spot Analyzer (HSA), software engineers can quickly identify program bottlenecks that are restricting system performance. The HSA builds on the unique Zero Overhead Program Counter (PC) Sampling feature built into the MIPS32 24K, MIPS32 34K and MIPS32 74K core families. MIPS Technologies’ Hot Spot Analyzer is available for immediate delivery. It is delivered as an Eclipse Plug-in and is also available with the Eclipse-based MIPS Navigator Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Unlike most profiling tools that depend on the time-consuming approach of post-processing large trace buffers, require non-transparent instrumentation of the code, or use time-intrusive sampling based on an interrupt, the MIPS HSA runs without incurring any time overhead. The System Navigator EJTAG probe can sample the processor PC register at extremely high data rates without impacting the real-time operation of the processor, rapidly profiling large amounts of code. An intuitive user interface makes the process even faster and easier.

In addition to profiling the Linux kernel, the HSA also supports profiling of loadable modules. Most device drivers are built as loadable modules, and the associated code can be highly complex when the driver is controlling a sophisticated peripheral. The HSA lets developers see which functions are consuming the most execution time. The HSA can also be used to profile any code running in the kernel segment space of an embedded MIPS-Based system. This includes “bare iron” programs-those without a formal real-time operating system (RTOS) -or classic RTOS-based environments. Profiling can reveal hot-spots in the RTOS and how it is being used by the applications, showing the percentage of idle time remaining in a dynamic, interrupt-driven system.

More info: MIPS Technologies