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16.4   Simulator Translation Cache (STC)

In order to improve the speed of the simulation, Simics does not perform all accesses through the memory spaces. The Simulator Translation Caches (STCs) try to serve most memory operations directly by caching relevant information. In particular, an STC is intended to contain the following:

The general idea is that the STC will contain information about "harmless" memory addresses, i.e., addresses where an access would not cause any device state change or side-effect. A particular memory address is mapped by the STC only if:

The contents of the STCs can be flushed at any time, so models using them to improve speed can not rely on a specific address being cached. They can however let the STCs cache addresses when further accesses to these addresses do not change the state of the model (this is used by cache simulation with g-cache; see chapter 18).

The STCs are activated by default. They can be turned on or off at the command prompt, using the stc-enable/disable functions. An object connected to the timing model interface can also mark a memory transaction so that it won't be cached by the STCs. For example, the trace module uses that method to ensure that no memory transaction will be cached, so that the trace will be complete.

Note that since transactions are inserted into the STCs when they are executed, only objects connected to the timing model interface can influence the STCs' behavior. The Simics Programming Guide provides a complete description of the changes authorized on a memory transaction when using the memory hierarchy interface.

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