[Open SoC Debug] GSoC-18, Open SoC Debug

Philipp Wagner philipp.wagner at tum.de
Mon Mar 26 11:10:33 CEST 2018

Hi Roman,

On 03/25/2018 06:01 PM, Roman Demenko wrote:
> Hello.
> My name is Roman Demenko, I'm a PhD student at MIPT
> (Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russian Federation).
> I'm curious about GSoC and Open SoC Debug in particular.
> Here is a draft proposal on
> Efficient control-flow tracers (hardware trace compression)
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/119D_8Vag20rBCSxPYeMZ_csjonb6KEjGgRiiVmkPKx8/edit?usp=sharing 

> Here is a brief description:
> Debug infrastructure generate trace data on specific events and
> transfer correspondence data to host, where it can be gathered and
> analysed. To make this approach efficient trace data should be compressed in
> hardware and decompressed on host.
> For this purpose hardware implemented Lempel-Ziv algorithm can be
> used.

Thanks for reaching out and compiling a proposal. I looked through it 
and it feels like you've already done quite a bit of research regarding 
compression algorithms, which is a very good start! I have two major 

1) You discussed the compression part extensively in your proposal and 
also in the project timeline. What's a bit missing, however, is the 
decompression. In my experience writing the code for trace decompression 
takes at least as much time as writing the HDL creating a compressed 
trace. At the same time, only the combination of the two shows that the 
approach really works and enables end-to-end evaluations of the 
compression rate with different applications. So please add this part to 
the proposal, and see how you can adjust the scope a bit to find time 
for that.

2) You state in your proposal:
"Besides this GSoC project, I work on a project that is a part of my 
PhD. And it is a full-time activity. However, I estimate that I could 
spend 20-25 hours per week to this problem."

Does this mean you have another full-time job next to GSoC, and plan to 
spend 20 hours a week on GSoC, making it in total a work week of ~60 
hours? Please go into a bit more detail how you plan to balance your two 
jobs (or what previous experience you have with that). Key to 
successfully completing a GSoC project is (obviously) having enough time 
to spend on it.



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