Release Notes

  • 2021.2.0
  • 06/11/2021
  • Public

Intel® TCC Tools 2021.2.0 Release Notes

Version History/Revision History

These are the main releases of Intel® TCC Tools:
Date
Revision
Description
15 June 2021
2021.2.0
Update release
21 December 2020
2021.1.1
Gold release
30 July 2020
0.11.0
Beta release
27 March 2020
0.10.1
Alpha Update release
18 October 2019
0.9.2
Alpha Update release
6 September 2019
0.9.1
Alpha Update release
19 April 2019
0.8.2
Alpha Update release
02 October 2018
0.7.0
Alpha Update release
06 June 2018
0.5.0
Initial release

Intended Audience

This release notes document is for anyone using Intel® TCC Tools, such as real-time application developers and system engineers.

Customer Support

Contact your Intel representative for support or submit an issue to http://premiersupport.intel.com.

Introduction

Intel® TCC Tools is a collection of C language APIs, tools, sample applications, and supporting documentation that enable you to take advantage of real-time features on selected Intel processors.
This document provides system requirements, installation instructions, issues and limitations, and legal information.
To learn more about this product, see:

Features in This Release

New Features from 2021.1.1
  • Data streams optimizer (DSO):
    • Added an MMIO read latency (MRL) sample as a validation workload for DSO tuning. This sample simplifies the out-of-box setup for the data streams optimizer and can be run on a single board.
    • Extracted and documented all user-configurable scripts to enable adaptation for non-supported target environments. For example, scripts have been added for Windows* targets.
    • Enabled support for partially filled requirements files so the user can omit the latency or bytes-per-transfer fields if the values are not known.
    • Enabled a register verification step for the preproduction “search” command.
  • Added the real-time communication demo for Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors and 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. The demo is based on Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) reference software and showcases the performance improvement from combining TSN XDP and Intel® TCC software SRAM features.
  • Added an Ethernet cross-timestamping sample for Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors and 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. The sample demonstrates the improved precision of hardware-assisted cross-timestamping.
Changes to Existing Features from 2021.1.1
  • Security: updated the data streams optimizer and real-time readiness checker to work without /dev/mem access.
  • Data streams optimizer and cache configurator: enabled support for version 1 and version 2 of the real-time configuration management data structures (RTCD/RTCT) for communication with BIOS. The RTCD/RTCT version used on a particular platform is determined by BIOS. At the time of this release, Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors support version 1 in the PR1 BIOS, and 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors support version 2 in the MR2 BIOS. For the BIOS version numbers, see BIOS/Firmware Version.
  • Updated the system configuration scripts (
    tcc_setup_ssram.sh
    ) to use RTCD/RTCT version 2. The older scripts are available in the
    setup_ssram_v1
    directory for Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors with PR1 BIOS.
Unsupported or Discontinued Features
  • The Intel® TCC dependencies layer is no longer required for the board support package (BSP) build. The default real-time (RT) BSP image contains all necessary dependencies for Intel® TCC Tools.
  • Data streams optimizer: The RTCP sample from the Intel® TCC Tools 2021.1.1 release is no longer supported.

Fixed Issues

The following issues reported in the previous release were fixed in this release:
  • In this release, make sure RTCM is disabled before using the data streams optimizer for the first time and make sure it remains disabled afterward. If you enable RTCM and then disable RTCM after the data streams optimizer has tuned the system, the system may freeze or you may see the error: “Could not set up firmware update: Invalid argument. ERROR: Failed to apply buffer capsule”. If system freeze is encountered, hard reset to regain control of the system. In some cases, flashing the BIOS will be required in order to apply a new capsule. In the case of detecting the error: “Could not set up firmware update: Invalid argument. ERROR: Failed to apply buffer capsule,” reboot to disable RTCM.
  • On 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors: The cache allocation library may fail to allocate memory when the buffer_size_bytes value in
    tcc.config
    is increased between runs of the application calling the cache allocation library.
  • On 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, the first BIOS capsule update after BIOS reflash may fail. This affects the data streams optimizer, cache configurator, cache allocation library, cache allocation sample, and system setup scripts.
  • The cache allocation library and data streams optimizer cannot be used together.
    Tuning configurations created with the previous release still lead to incompatibility between the cache allocation library and data streams optimizer. Recreate the tuning configuration using this release with the “Software SRAM” compatibility option.

Known Issues

  • After using the
    tcc_setup.py
    script to install files on the target system, the
    /usr/share/tcc_tools/tools
    directory has only write permissions for
    Group
    and
    Other
    owners. You can only access the files in this folder with the account that was used to run the
    tcc_setup.py
    script.
  • Data streams optimizer:
    • In rare cases, the
      tcc_data_streams_optimizer_preprod
      tool may not be able to write files into the output directory. Change the umask to 0755 or set the permission to the output directory manually.
    • On 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, a system hang may occur intermittently when running the
      reboot
      command. If the system detects hardware errors, the Functional Safety (FuSa) feature, PCIe* Interrupt Error Handling (IEH), may attempt an additional system reset that can get stuck at postcode 0x0b7f. Perform a hard reset to regain control of the system. Temporary resolution for system hang after reboot: Disable IEH in the BIOS menu: Intel Advanced Menu/PCH-IO Configuration/IEH Mode = Bypass Mode.
    • Due to current firmware limitations on Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors, you may observe latency spikes of more than 10 microseconds for transactions passing through the processor. As a result, the performance evaluation of tuning configurations should be limited to a reduction in average latency until the updated firmware is applied.
  • Measurement library: Applications using the measurement library may not read all collected values from the shared memory.
  • Cache allocation:
    • The cache configurator and cache allocation library work incorrectly with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology enabled. The cache configurator may generate the wrong content for BIOS capsules. The resulting configuration may be different from expected or may cause unexpected system issues.
    • On 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors, VTune™ Profiler may cause a system hang during cache allocation sample measurement.
    • On Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors with the PR1 release of the Yocto Project*-based BSP, the cache allocation library may fail to allocate memory when the buffer_size_bytes value in
      tcc.config
      is increased between runs of the application calling the cache allocation library.
    • The default single L3 cache way software SRAM region is not generated by the BIOS when the cache configurator is used to remove all existing software SRAM regions and the software SRAM option in BIOS is enabled.
    • On Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors with the PR1 release of the Yocto Project*-based BSP, the cache configurator may report that the applied configuration is different from expected after reboot, if a software SRAM region in L2 cache was added.
  • On Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors with the PR1 release of the Yocto Project*-based BSP, Time-Aware GPIO and Ethernet cross-timestamp samples do not work with a hypervisor or the real-time configuration manager (RTCM) enabled.
  • Real-time communication demo:
    • Running in siso-single or basic mode sometimes does not correctly configure IP addresses during the setup phase. Best-effort traffic is not generated.
    • At least one message is always lost.
  • This release fully supports 4-core processors. Support of 2-core processors is limited.

Limitations

  • The cache configurator requires binary compatibility with real-time configuration data (RTCD) at the BIOS level. If a BIOS update changes the RTCD binary structure, it may cause issues with cache configurator. For a list of supported BIOS versions, see BIOS/Firmware Version.
  • If an application accesses the L2 software SRAM buffer and is subsequently migrated to a different core which does not share the same L2 cache, and continues to access the L2 software SRAM buffer, the performance of the software SRAM may diminish.

Where to Find the Release

You can find the release on the product page.

Release Content

The following table shows revision numbers of components of the Intel® TCC Tools release.
Subproject (component)
Location
Revision
Build Date
Intel® TCC Tools standalone installer
l_tcc_tools_p_2021.2.0.287_offline.sh
2021.2.0
04 June 2021
Intel® TCC Tools target files
[installdir]/target/tcc_tools_target_2021.2.0.tar.gz
2021.2.0
04 June 2021
Yocto Project* recipes for building images for Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors with Intel® TCC Tools
2021.1.1
05 November 2020

Hardware and Software Compatibility

This release is compatible with the following hardware:
  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors DDR4 customer reference board with a supported processor:
    • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-1115GRE Processor
    • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1145GRE Processor
    • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1185GRE Processor
  • Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors reference validation platform with a supported processor:
    • Intel Atom® x6200FE Processor
    • Intel Atom® x6212RE Processor
    • Intel Atom® x6414RE Processor
    • Intel Atom® x6425RE Processor
    • Intel Atom® x6427FE Processor
To acquire these boards, contact your Intel representative.
For additional requirements, see the Get Started Guide.
BIOS/Firmware Version
  • For 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, this release has been validated with BIOS version TGLIFUI1.R00.4163.A01.2104221540.
  • For Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors, this release has been validated with BIOS version EHLSFWI1.R00.3162.A01.2104131432.
Supported Operating Systems
This release supports Linux* operating systems.
Validated operating systems:
  • Host: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • Target: Yocto Project*-based board support package

Notices and Disclaimers

For data streams optimizer combined with Intel Atom® x6000E Series processors: This Intel software is considered Pre-Release Materials and is made available under a limited Evaluation License. The Pre-Release Materials may not be fully functional, and Intel may substantially modify the Pre-Release Materials in producing any “production” version. Intel can provide no assurance that it will ever produce or make generally available a “final” or “production” version of the Pre-Release Materials. The Pre-Release Materials may not be modified or incorporated into any product; the Pre-Release Materials may not continue to be used if and once a commercial version is released; and the Pre-Released Materials, or any benchmarks, performance results, or other information relating to the Pre-Release Materials may not be disclosed to any third party.
You may not use or facilitate the use of this document in connection with any infringement or other legal analysis concerning Intel products described herein. You agree to grant Intel a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to any patent claim thereafter drafted which includes subject matter disclosed herein.
No license (express or implied, by estoppel or otherwise) to any intellectual property rights is granted by this document.
All product plans and roadmaps are subject to change without notice.
The products described may contain design defects or errors known as errata which may cause the product to deviate from published specifications. Current characterized errata are available on request.
Intel disclaims all express and implied warranties, including without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement, as well as any warranty arising from course of performance, course of dealing, or usage in trade.
Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation.
No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Your costs and results may vary.
Code names are used by Intel to identify products, technologies, or services that are in development and not publicly available. These are not “commercial” names and not intended to function as trademarks.
Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.
© Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
This software and the related documents are Intel copyrighted materials, and your use of them is governed by the express license under which they were provided to you (License). Unless the License provides otherwise, you may not use, modify, copy, publish, distribute, disclose or transmit this software or the related documents without Intel’s prior written permission.
This software and the related documents are provided as is, with no express or implied warranties, other than those that are expressly stated in the License.

Product and Performance Information

1

Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.