Getting Started with Intel® SoC Watch

The Intel® SoC Watch command-line tool collects metrics that can be used to analyze power consumption and identify system behaviors that waste energy on a Linux*, Windows*, or Android* system running on Intel architecture. Data reported by the tool includes how much CPU and GPU time is spent in power-saving states, processor temperature and frequencies used, and active devices. Using the reports generated by Intel SoC Watch, you can measure, debug, and optimize system power consumption.

Intel SoC Watch is a command-line collector that must be installed and run on the target system with administrative (root) privilege.

Summary reports are generated in comma-separated text format and trace files. The trace files can also be generated for importing into Intel® VTune™ Amplifier and visualized with the Platform Power Analysis viewpoint. Importing into VTune Amplifier makes it easier to find correlations and anomalies that occurred during the collection and allows for easy comparison across the metrics.

Intel SoC Watch is available within the Intel System Studio.

New: An Eclipse plugin for Intel System Studio is available for running energy analysis from a Linux or Windows host on a Linux target system. The plugin is a preview feature for the Intel System Studio 2018 release. For more information, see the energy analysis help.

Step 1: Configure and Install on Target System

For detailed instructions on configuring your environment, see the Installation section of the Intel SoC Watch Release Notes for your target system's operating system. The latest Intel SoC Watch documents are available online at the Intel Developer Zone site. You can also find a copy on the host system in the targets directory after installing Intel System Studio or on the target system in the product's documentation directory after extracting the Intel SoC Watch package.

Step 2: Collect Data

Run the Intel SoC Watch command line tool on the target system, specifying the metrics to collect and length of time to run. Data collection can occur on an idle system or run concurrently with a workload that is started at any time before or during the collection. You must have administrative/root privileges when you run the command.

For example, to run a collection for 1 minute (-t 60), gather data about how much time the CPU spends in low power states (-f cpu-cstate), include trace data (-m), and store the reports in a specified directory location with the specified file name (-o results/test), you would use:

socwatch -t 60 -f cpu-cstate -m -o results/test

For detailed descriptions of each feature and feature group, see the Intel SoC Watch User's Guide for your target system's operating system.


  • Use feature group names as a shorthand for specifying several features (metrics) that should be collected at the same time. For instance, -f sys collects the most commonly used metrics, including low power state residency for CPU, GPU, and devices, CPU temperature and frequency, and memory bandwidth.

  • Use the --help option to discover all of the available metrics that can be collected on the system (found under feature and feature group names) as well as other options for controlling data collection and reporting.

Step 3: Review and Analyze Energy Data

Intel SoC Watch generates reports in a comma-separated file format (CSV) and stores them relative to the directory from which Intel SoC Watch was run. By default, the summary report is found in the current directory in the SOCWatchOutput.csv file.

For example, in the command example given in Step 2, the summary report is in the results/test.csv file. Open the *.csv file using a viewer, such as Microsoft Excel*.

Example report:


To generate a trace file (*.pwr) that can be imported and viewed in Intel® VTune™ Amplifier, add the -r vtune option to the command line. To generate a file (*.swjson) that can be viewed in the Intel System Studio energy analysis plugin, add the -r json option to the command line.

Documentation and Resources



User's Guide: Android and Linux | Windows

The Intel SoC Watch User's Guide is a reference manual with explanations of all command line options and features as well as example reports.

The guide is available in the product's documentation directory after installation. A copy is also available from the Intel Developer Zone website.

Release Notes: Android | Linux | Windows

The Intel SoC Watch Release Notes contain the most up-to-date information about the product, including a product description, technical support, and known limitations and issues for a particular operating system. This document also contains system requirements for installing the product.

The guide is available in the product's documentation directory after installation. A copy is also available from the Intel Developer Zone website.

Online Help

The energy analysis help provides basic information about running a collection. It also includes information about how to view and analyze the results in Intel System Studio or Intel VTune Amplifier.

Command line help

You can access general help for the Intel SoC Watch command line interface by entering the following command:

socwatch -h

Legal Information

Intel, Intel VTune Amplifier, and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Microsoft, Windows, and the Windows logo are trademarks, or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

© Intel Corporation

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