Nios® II Processor Reference Guide

ID 683836
Date 8/28/2023
Document Table of Contents Trace Frames

A frame is a unit of memory allocated for collecting trace data. However, a frame is not an absolute measure of the trace depth.

To keep pace with the processor executing in real time, execution trace is optimized to store only selected addresses, such as branches, calls, traps, and interrupts. From these addresses, host-side debug software can later reconstruct an exact instruction-by-instruction execution trace. Furthermore, execution trace data is stored in a compressed format, such that one frame represents more than one instruction. As a result of these optimizations, the actual start and stop points for trace collection during execution might vary slightly from the user-specified start and stop points.

Data trace stores 100% of requested loads and stores to the trace buffer in real time. When storing to the trace buffer, data trace frames have lower priority than execution trace frames. Therefore, while data frames are always stored in chronological order, execution and data trace are not guaranteed to be exactly synchronized with each other.