Category: Software Debug and Trace – Intel

Last week, I wrote an introduction to Architectural Event Trace, an extremely powerful JTAG-based Trace facility within current Intel silicon. Using this technology in conjunction with SourcePoint gives the firmware developer unprecedented insight into program execution and events. This week, I look at some of the use cases.
Yes, Intel Skylake-EP, also known as Skylake-SP, or Purley, or Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, is past the “line of demarcation”; which means some more of its powerful capabilities can be revealed in the public domain. I managed to get my hands on a server platform with this CPU, and looked at some of the advanced debug and trace capabilities within the silicon.
Today, February 15th, 2020, marks the official 30th Anniversary of JTAG. What a wild ride it has been – from its humble beginnings for detecting short and open circuits, it has evolved to be, in some ways, the most powerful and feared technology on the planet. How did we get here?
In my spare time, I was doing some OpenBMC Yocto builds on my Linux machines, and decided I wanted to copy these files over to my Windows PC. Little did I know how complicated this could be.
Over the last two and a half years, I've intermittently chronicled my explorations into some fairly esoteric technical topics, using the MinnowBoard Turbot board as a platform. And yes, time flies, and I've covered a lot of ground. All 45 chapters are listed below. Enjoy!
Do you know how it feels when you have an itch, and you just have to scratch it? Well, after an extended hiatus from writing, I felt an overwhelming compulsion to do another MinnowBoard image build with source and symbols, do some more exploring, and then blog about it.