Intel System Debugger - System Trace feature overview

By Joel Lin, Published: 12/17/2014, Last Updated: 12/17/2014


Intel® System Debugger - System Trace tool is not just a log viewer tool but also a utility designed to capture the logs generated by Intel® Trace Hub feature. Intel® Trace Hub as a hardware block which aggregates all trace logs of Software, Firmware and hardware components (e.g. BIOS, ME, Architecture Event Trace and also MSFT ETW event.), stores it in the memory, and makes it accessible using DCI connection through USB3 port. This feature allows developers working on different components to use a single and universal debug log collection mechanism to collaborate on resolving system issues.

In order to retrieve the debug logs via System Trace, it is required have to setup the debug environment first as shown on the figure below

Intel Trace Hub & System Trace Tool setup

 * Intel® SVT CCA (MM#:921521) can be purchased via Intel® Design-In Tools Store in the link

Regarding the availability of System Trace Tool, NDA would be a required condition for this Intel latest technology.  You may contact your Intel representative to request the software download link in current time.

Quick steps to capture trace logs

The System Trace tool is integrated in Intel® System Studio IDE.  The System Trace perspective might be accessed using Window -> Open perspective -> System Trace Tool menu. Follow the steps indicated in the figure below to capture the trace logs.

  1. Open a new project via File -> New project -> System Trace project menu
  2. Configure the target and press Connect button to connect to the target
  3. Press Capture button to start capturing. Press stop button to stop the capture.
  4. Check the message view to see collecting logs.

System Trace UI Overview

Search & Filter trace logs

While performing Log analysis, it might be helpful to filter debug logs, using certain keywords to help quickly identify the root cause or probable failure reason. It’s especially true for the logs generated by Intel® Trace Hub because the debug logs are from multiple different trace sources (SWs, FWs and HWs).

Check the illustration below and read the information to learn how to filter the messages you care.

System Trace Search UI

It’s easy to filter all logs messages containing the certain keyword in System Trace. All you have to do is to put the keyword in the filter textbox of MessageView UI. The example on the figure above filters log entries containing “error” keyword. This filter function will be applied on the columns (the data fields viewable in MessageView window). The default columns only contains <Summary> and <Source> two data fields. You can select more columns by following the instruction on the figure above.

If you want to concatenate multiple filters with logical OR operations, you have to use “Trace Analysis” function. In Trace Analysis, we named each independent filter as a “scenario”. More than that, you can customize each scenario’s text foreground/background colors to highlight different types of logs in your mind.

Teams cooperated on log analysis

It’s easy to share the captured log with other team member by using export/import functions. To export a log, you can simply click right button of mouse on the captured log of project explorer view then click export function to specify the folder you are going to store the log file.

To Import log file would be just as easy as export function; Select File menu -> Import -> System trace capture.

You could also share the entire project folder with other developers. The project folder will be located under eclipse’s workspace folder

See also

Intel® System Debugger 2017 User and Reference Guide

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.

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