Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector Structured Tracefile Format

By Gergana S. Slavova, Published: 04/14/2015, Last Updated: 04/14/2015

The Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector employs the use of the Structured Trace File Format (STF) in order to profile MPI applications in a scalable and efficient manner.

The development of STF was motivated by the observation that the conventional approach of handling trace data in a single trace file is not suitable for large applications or systems, where the trace file can quickly grow into the tens of gigabytes range. It is impractical to squeeze such huge amounts of data into a single display. Mechanisms must be provided to start at a coarser level and then resolve the display into more detailed information. Additionally, the ability to request and inspect only parts of the data becomes essential with the amount of trace data growing.

These requirements necessitated a more powerful data organization than the previous Intel® Trace Collector tracefile format can provide. In response to this, the STF has been developed. The aim of the STF is to provide a file format which:

  • can arbitrarily be partitioned into several files, each one containing a specific subset of the data
  • allows fast random access and easy extraction of data
  • is extensible, portable, and upward compatible
  • is clearly defined and structured
  • can efficiently exploit parallelism for reading and writing
  • is as compact as possible

The specification outlying the technical requirements for the STF is now available for general download. This document describes how the scalability requirements are being met while keeping the file format transparent to the Intel Trace Analyzer and Collector user.

Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804