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Memory Access Tracer

This repository contains a Pin tool to generate a trace of loads and stores performed by an application. Pin uses dynamic binary instrumentation to attach itself to a binary and hook into specific instructions. This tool works for single-threaded workloads only. In addition, a utility program is included for converting these traces into a format recognized by gem5.


The Pin tool requires an installation of Intel’s Pin (tested with Pin v3.6). Pin’s build system requires that the PIN_ROOT environment variable point to the root directory of the Pin installation.

The utility program requires Google protocol buffers (tested with version 3). Make sure both the protoc executable and the library are installed.

Running the Pin Tool

You can run the Pin tool as you would any other. For example:

/path/to/pin-3.6/pin -t /path/to/memory-trace-st/obj-intel64/ -- /path/to/application

In addition, the Pin tool allows for the following command line arguments:

-f  [default 10000000000]
  fast forward this many instructions
-i  [default 250000000]
  max instructions
-m  [default 1000000000]
  max memory requests
-o  [default trace.csv]
  trace file name

The tool will exit either when the maximum number of memory requests or maximum number of instructions (not including fast forwarded instructions) has been reached. In order to properly obtain the physical addresses of memory requests, you must run the tool as root. Failure to do so will map all pages to a single page entry, which is incorrect.

Trace Format

The trace is outputted as a comma-separated file (csv). The columns are as follows:

Instruction Count, Read/Write, Address, Size (Bytes), PC

The instruction count is a global running count. Reads and Writes map to 0 and 1, respectively. Both the address and the PC are the physical address.

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