gem5-gpu: A Heterogeneous CPU-GPU Simulator

Jason Power, Joel Hestness, Marc S. Orr, Mark D. Hill, David A. Wood
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Computer Architecture Letters, Vol. 13, no. 1, 2014


   title={gem5-gpu: A Heterogeneous CPU-GPU Simulator},

   author={Power, Jason and Hestness, Joel and Orr, M and Hill, M and Wood, D},




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gem5-gpu is a new simulator that models tightly integrated CPU-GPU systems. It builds on gem5, a modular fullsystem CPU simulator, and GPGPU-Sim, a detailed GPGPU simulator. gem5-gpu routes most memory accesses through Ruby, which is a highly configurable memory system in gem5. By doing this, it is able to simulate many system configurations, ranging from a system with coherent caches and a single virtual address space across the CPU and GPU to a system that maintains separate GPU and CPU physical address spaces. gem5-gpu can run most unmodified CUDA 3.2 source code. Applications can launch non-blocking kernels, allowing the CPU and GPU to execute simultaneously.We present gem5-gpu’s software architecture and a brief performance validation. We also discuss possible extensions to the simulator. gem5-gpu is open source and available at gem5-gpu.cs.wisc.edu.
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