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The lastexceptiontoip and lastexceptionfromip msrs

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Unformatted text preview: 86™ and later Intel Architecture processors, it is more convenient to set breakpoints with the breakpoint-address registers (DR0 through DR3). However, the breakpoint exception still is useful for breakpointing debuggers, because the breakpoint exception can call a separate exception handler. The breakpoint exception is also useful when it is necessary to set more breakpoints than there are debug registers or when breakpoints are being placed in the source code of a program under development. 15.4. LAST BRANCH, INTERRUPT, AND EXCEPTION RECORDING The P6 family processors provide five MSRs for recording the last branch, interrupt, or exception taken by the processor: DebugCtlMSR, LastBranchToIP, LastBranchFromIP, LastExceptionToIP, and LastExceptionFromIP. These registers can be used to set breakpoints on branches, interrupts, and exceptions, and to single-step from one branch to the next. 15.4.1. DebugCtlMSR Register The DebugCtlMSR register enables last branch, interrupt, and exception recording; taken branch breakpoints; the breakpoint reporting pins; and trace messages. This register can be written to using the WRMSR instruction, when operating at privilege level 0 or when in realaddress mode. A protected-mode operating system procedure is required to provide user access to this register. Figure 15-2 shows the flags in the DebugCtlMSR register. The functions of these flags are as follows: LBR (last branch/interrupt/exception) flag (bit 0) When set, the processor records the source and target addresses for the last branch and the last exception or interrupt taken by the processor prior to a debug exception being generated. The processor clears this flag whenever a debug exception, such as an instruction or data breakpoint or single-step trap occurs. 15-11 DEBUGGING AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING 31 76543210 PPPPBL TBBBBTB R3210FR TR—Trace messages enable PBi—Performance monitoring/breakpoint pins BTF—Single-step on branches LBR—Last branch/interrupt/exception Reserved Figure 15-2. DebugCtlMSR Register BTF (single-step on branches) flag (bit 1) When set, the processor treats the TF flag in the EFLAGS register as a “singlestep on branches” flag rather than a “single-step on instructions” flag. This mechanism allows single-stepping the processor on taken branches. Software must set both the BTF and TF flag to enable debug breakpoints on branches; the processor clears both flags whenever a debug exception occurs. PBi (performance monitoring/breakpoint pins) flags (bits 2 through 5) When these flags are set, the performance monitoring/breakpoint pins on the processor (BP0#, BP1#, BP2#, and BP3#) report breakpoint matches in the corresponding breakpoint-address registers (DR0 through DR3). The processor asserts then deasserts the corresponding BPi# pin when a breakpoint match occurs. When a PBi flag is clear, the performance monitoring/breakpoint pins report performance events. Processor execution is not affected by reporting performance events. TR (trace message enable) flag (bit 6) When set, trace messages are enabled. Thereafter, when the processor detects a branch, exception, or interrupt, it sends the “to” and “from” addresses out on the system bus as part of a branch trace message. A debugging device that is monitoring the system bus can read these messages and synchronize operations with branch, exception, and interrupt events. Setting this flag greatly reduces the performance of the processor. When trace messages are enabled, the values stored in the LastBranchToIP, LastBranchFromIP, LastExceptionToIP, and LastExceptionFromIP MSRs are undefined. Note that the “from” addresses sent out on the system bus may differ from those stored in the LastBranchFromIP MSRs or LastExceptionFromIP MSRs. The from address sent out on the bus is always the next instruction in the instruction stream following a successfully completed instruction. For example, if a branch completes successfully, the address stored in the LastBranchFromIP MSR is the address of the branch instruction, but the address sent out on the bus in the trace message is the address of the instruction 15-12 DEBUGGING AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING following the branch instruction. If the processor faults on the branch, the address stored in the LastBranchFromIP MSR is again the address of the branch instruction and that same address is sent out on the bus. 15.4.2. Last Branch and Last Exception MSRs The LastBranchToIP and LastBranchFromIP MSRs are 32-bit registers for recording the instruction pointers for the last branch, interrupt, or exception that the processor took prior to a debug exception being generated (refer to Figure 15-2). When a branch occurs, the processor loads the address of the branch instruction into the LastBranchFromIP MSR and loads the target address for the branch into the LastBranchToIP MSR. When an interrupt or exception occurs (other than a debug exception), the address of the instruction that was interrupted by the exception or interrupt is loaded into the LastBranchFromIP MSR and the address of the exception or interrupt handler that is called is loaded i...
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This note was uploaded on 06/07/2013 for the course ECE 1234 taught by Professor Kwhon during the Spring '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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