Using gem5 in an SST simulation


This directory contains the library needed to use gem5 TimingSimpleCPU model in an SST-driven simulation.

When compiled, the gem5 library for SST will be generated, containing the libgem5_*.so as well as the gem5 Component and the SST Responder SubComponent.

                           On/Off-chip devs     TimingSimpleCPU
                                ^                 ^         ^
                                |                 |         |
                                v                 v         v
                            ==================================== [gem5::NonCoherentXBar]
                                                      ^ [OutgoingRequestBridge]
           gem5_system_port                           |
[OutgoingRequestBridge] ^                             |
                        |                             |
         [SSTResponder] v                             v [SSTResponder]
gem5 Component {SSTResponderSubComponent, SSTResponderSubComponent}
                         ^                        ^
                         |                        |
                         v                        v
                    ================================== [SST Bus]
                                     SST cache  <---->  SST memory

Components and SubComponents

  • gem5 Component has the following responsibilities,

    • initializing the gem5 Python environment
    • instantiating/setting-up the gem5 SimObjects as specified by the gem5 configuration
    • connect every SSTResponderSubComponent to the corresponding OutgoingRequestBridge
    • handling a gem5 event queue (with all thread-synchronization barriers removed)
    • handling executions of gem5 events when it has clockTick yielded by SST Note: there should only be one gem5 Component per process.
  • SSTResponderSubComponent has the responsibity of receiving requests from gem5, translating requests to an SST Request and sending it to SSTResponder. Upon receiving a response from the memory interface, SSTResponderSubComponent will translate the response to a gem5 Packet and send it to the its OutgoingRequestBridge.

  • SSTResponder is owned by SSTResponderSubComponent. The responder will receive the request from the SubComponent and send it to the SST memory hierarchy.



Running an example simulation

Downloading the built bootloader containing a Linux Kernel and a workload,


Running the simulation

sst sst/

bbl-busybox-boot-exit contains an m5 binary, and m5 exit will be called upon the booting process reaching the early userspace. More information about building a bootloader containing a Linux Kernel and a customized workload is available at [].


  • SwapReq from gem5 requires reading from memory and writing to memory. We handle the request in SST in a way that, when SST gets the response from memory, SST will send that response to gem5, while SST will send a write request with modified data to memory.