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About debugging big.LITTLE systems

A big.LITTLE™ system is designed to optimize both high performance and low power consumption over a wide variety of workloads. It achieves this by including one or more high performance processors alongside one or more low power processors. The system transitions the workload between the processors as necessary to achieve this goal.

big.LITTLE systems are typically configured in a Symmetric MultiProcessing (SMP) configuration. An operating system or hypervisor controls which processors are powered up or down at any given time and assists in migrating tasks between them.

For bare-metal debugging on big.LITTLE systems, you can establish an SMP connection within DS-5 Debugger. In this case all the processors in the system are brought under the control of the debugger. The debugger monitors the power state of each processor as it runs and displays it in the Debug Control view and on the command -line. Processors that are powered-down are visible to the debugger but cannot be accessed.

For Linux application debugging on big.LITTLE systems, you can establish a gdbserver connection within DS-5 Debugger. Linux applications are typically unaware of whether they are running on a big processor or a little processor because this is hidden by the operating system. There is therefore no difference within the debugger when debugging a Linux application on a big.LITTLE system as compared to application debug on any other system.

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