User and Reference Guide

  • 2020
  • 10/23/2020
  • Public Content

Introducing the Intel® Debug Extensions for WinDbg* for Intel® Processor Trace

The Intel® Debug Extensions for WinDbg* for Intel® Processor Trace is designed to help WinDbg* users by extending their debugging tool set with execution tracing. The extension allows for easy setup of Intel® Processor Trace (Intel® PT) by abstracting hardware configuration and then reconstructing and displaying execution flow from the collected trace data. It integrates with other WinDbg* features like symbolization and high-level source display.
Intel® Processor Trace is a new technology for low-overhead execution tracing. It facilitates debugging a program by exposing an accurate and detailed trace of the program’s activity, and its triggering and filtering capabilities help identifying and isolating the relevant program executions.
Intel® PT records information about software execution on each hardware thread using dedicated hardware facilities. After execution completes, a software can process the recorded trace data and reconstruct the exact program flow.
Intel® PT use cases include:
  • control flow tracing
    This includes recorded trace data program flow information (for example, branch targets, branch taken/not taken indications) and program-induced mode related information (for example, Intel® Transactional Synchronization Extensions (Intel® TSX) state transitions). Debuggers can use it to reconstruct the code flow that led to a certain location. Whether this is a crash site, a breakpoint, a watchpoint, or simply the instruction following a function call we just stepped over.
  • debugging stack corruptions
    When the call stack has been corrupted, normal frame unwinding usually fails or may not produce reliable results. Intel® PT can be used to reconstruct the stack backtrace based on actual CALL and RET instructions.

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