1.3.3 Debugging big.LITTLE™ Systems

A big.LITTLE™ system optimizes for both high performance and low power consumption over a wide variety of workloads. It achieves this by including one or more high performance processors alongside one or more low power processors.

Awareness for big.LITTLE configurations is built into DS-5 Debugger, allowing you to establish a bare-metal, Linux kernel, or Linux application debug connection, just as you would for a single core processor.


For the software required to enable big.LITTLE support in your own OS, visit the big.LITTLE Linaro git repository.

Bare-metal debug on big.LITTLE™ systems

For bare-metal debugging on big.LITTLE systems, you can establish an SMP connection within DS-5 Debugger. In this case, all the processors in the big.LITTLE system are brought under the control of the debugger. The debugger monitors the power state of each processor as it runs and displays it in the Debug Control view and on the command -line. Processors that are powered-down are visible to the debugger, but cannot be accessed. The remaining functionality of the debugger is equivalent to an SMP connection to a homogenous cluster of cores.

Linux application debug on big.LITTLE™ systems

For Linux application debugging on big.LITTLE systems, you can establish a gdbserver connection within DS-5 Debugger. Linux applications are typically unaware of whether they are running on a big processor or a LITTLE processor because this is hidden by the operating system. Therefore, there is no difference when debugging a Linux application on a big.LITTLE system as compared to application debug on any other system.

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