Metric Description

Certain events require the entire pipeline to be cleared and restarted from just after the last retired instruction. This metric measures only self-modifying code (SMC) events. This event counts the number of times a program writes to a code section that is shared with another processor or itself as a data page, causing the entire pipeline and the trace caches to be cleared. Self-modifying code causes a severe penalty in all processors based on Intel architecture.

Possible Issues

A significant portion of execution time is spent handling machine clears incurred by self-modifying code event. Dynamically-modified code (for example, target fix-ups) is likely to suffer from performance degradation due to SMC. To avoid this, introduce indirect branches and use data tables on data pages (not code pages) with register-indirect calls.

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