Running SPEC06 with RISCV architecture - benchmarking

I want to run SPEC06 benchmarks with the changes I made to the RISC-V Rocket chip architecture and the RISC-V compiler. I am aware Dhrystone is already there, but I want to measure performances with other benchmarks. What are the steps to be able to run SPEC06 benchmarks in a RISC-V environment?
EDIT: Can you please help me how to install and run SPEC06 on an FPGA (zc706 in particular)? I can boot linux-3.14.41 on zc706 programmed by rocket-chip.

First you will need to get access to the SPEC CPU2006 benchmark itself (need license). Once you have that code downloaded, you should use speckle to ease with compiling it. You should be able to run all of the benchmarks under riscv-linux, so you should use the linux variant of riscv-gcc. Some of the benchmarks will work with the pk and the newlib variant of riscv-gcc.


Is it possible to build C source code written for ARM to run on x86 platform?

I got some source code in plain C. It is built to run on ARM with a cross-compiler on Windows.
Now I want to do some white-box unit testing of the code. And I don't want to run the test on an ARM board because it may not be very efficient.
Since the C source code is instruction set independent, and I just want to verify the software logic at the C-level, I am wondering if it is possible to build the C source code to run on x86. It makes debugging and inspection much easier.
Or is there some proper way to do white-box testing of C code written for ARM?
BTW, I have read the thread: How does native android code written for ARM run on x86?
It seems not to be what I need.
ADD 1 - 10:42 PM 7/18/2021
The physical ARM hardware that the code targets may not be ready yet. So I want to verify the software logic at a very early phase. Based on John Bollinger's answer, I am thinking about another option: Just build the binary as usual for ARM. Then use QEMU to find a compatible ARM cpu to run the code. The code is assured not to touch any special hardware IO. So a compatible cpu should be enough to run all the code I think. If this is possible, I think I need to find a way to let QEMU load my binary on a piece of emulated bare-metal. And to get some output, I need to at least write a serial port driver to bridge my binary to the serial port.
ADD 2 - 8:55 AM 7/19/2021
Some more background, the C code is targeting ARMv8 ISA. And the code manipulates some hardware IPs which are not ready yet. I am planning to create a software HAL for those IPs and verify the C code over the HAL. If the HAL is good enough, everything can be purely software and I guess the only missing part is a ARMv8 compatible CPU, which I believe QEMU can provide.
ADD 3 - 11:30 PM 7/19/2021
Just found this link. It seems QEMU user mode emulation can be leveraged to run ARM binaries directly on a x86 Linux. Will try it and get back later.
ADD 4 - 11:42 AM 7/29/2021
An some useful links:
Override a function call in C
__attribute__((weak)) and static libraries
What are weak functions and what are their uses? I am using a stm32f429 micro controller
Why the weak symbol defined in the same .a file but different .o file is not used as fall back?
Now I want to do some white-box unit testing of the code. And I don't want to run the test on an ARM board because it may not be very efficient.
What does efficiency have to do with it if you cannot be sure that your test results are representative of the real target platform?
Since the C source code is instruction set independent,
C programs vary widely in how portable they are. This tends to be less related to CPU instruction set than to target machine and implementation details such as data type sizes, word endianness, memory size, and floating-point implementation, and implementation-defined and undefined program behaviors.
It is not at all safe to assume that just because the program is written in C, that it can be successfully built for a different target machine than it was developed for, or that if it is built for a different target, that its behavior there is the same.
I am wondering if it is possible to build the C source code to run on x86. It makes debugging and inspection much easier.
It is probably possible to build the program. There are several good C compilers for various x86 and x86_64 platforms, and if your C code conforms to one of the language specifications then those compilers should accept it. Whether the behavior of the result is representative of the behavior on ARM is a different question, however (see above).
It may nevertheless be a worthwhile exercise to port the program to another platform, such as x86 or x86_64 Windows. Such an exercise would be likely to unmask some bugs. But this would be a project in its own right, and I doubt that it would be worth the effort if there is no intention to run the program on the new platform other than for testing purposes.
Or is there some proper way to do white-box testing of C code written for ARM?
I don't know what proper means to you, but there is no substitute for testing on the target hardware that you ultimately want to support. You might find it useful to perform initial testing on emulated hardware, however, instead of on a physical ARM device.
If you were writing ARM code for a windows desktop application there would be no difference for the most part and the code would just compile and run. My guess is you are developing for some device that does some specific task.
I do this for a lot of my embedded ARM code. Typically the core algorithms work just fine when built on x86 but the whole application does not. The problems come in with the hardware other than the CPU. For example I might be using a LCD display, some sensors, and Free RTOS on the ARM project but the code that runs on Windows does not have any of these. What I do is extract important pieces of C/C++ code and write a test framework around it. In the real ARM code the device is reading values from a sensor and doing something with it. In the test code that runs on a desktop the code reads from a data file with fake sensor values and writes its output to a datafile that can be analyzed. This way I can have white box tests for the most complicated code.
May I ask, roughly what does this code do? An ARM processor with no peripherals would be kind of useless. Typically we use the processor to interact with some other hardware like a screen, some buttons, or Bluetooth. It's those interactions that are going to be the most problematic.

Is it possible to compile and run the dlib library on embedded devices with ARM Cortex-M7 processors?

I have just started using the amazing dlib library in Visual Studio and I have been able to compile and run the face detection examples. I was wondering if it would be possible to compile and run the library on an Mbed device, such as this one, with an M7 (or other M-series) processor. In other words, what specifications should I look out for to determine whether a microcontroller can, if at all, run dlib. Note that Mbed devices run C++ code, so it would be possible to copy and paste the source code of dlib and compile it, but I want to know if this is possible before I purchase a board. Also, if the RAM and ROM of the board are not enough, I can always attach external RAM/ROM.
Alternatively, if anyone knows of a library that can perform face detection or recognition on an embedded device, I would be happy to hear it.
Although the F769 is a considerably powerful embedded device there is no chance that dlib will run on it. Machine learning algorithms, even if not run in real-time, typically require a vast amount of RAM memory, specially for online-learning (learning on the target). You can take a look at ARMs very own CMSIS NN library to see what's currently "state-of-the-art" for devices that size.
Take a look at Tensorflow Lite for Microcontrollers. You can put these on embedded devices. Wake words and object detection runs easily on various boards (Arduino Nano 33, SparkFun Edge). There's a compiler included for Mbed.
Microcontrollers are not suitable for video and image recognition even if you attach external ram. The chip you where suggestiong is top of the line in microcontroller world. But this means only 2Mb for ALL your software and only 512kb of ram onboard. Think of it this way the image you need with enough detail to recoginze someone would be atleast a few mb.
I would suggest that you look at to the application processors of ARM (A series) or NVIDA Jetson.

How can I cross-compile C code for a Cyrix Cx486DX?

The question says it all. I need to cross-compile for a Cyrix CPU. The system the compiler (doesn't have to be gcc) needs to run on is a 64bit Kubuntu, with an i5 processor. I couldn't find anything useful googling, except for a piece of information saying that "Cx486DX is software-compatible with i486". So I ran
gcc -m32 -march=i486 helloworld.c -o helloworld486.bin
but executing helloworld486.bin on the Cyrix machine gives me a floating point exception. My knowledge about CPUs is rather limited and I'm out of ideas now, any help would be really appreciated.
Unfortunately you need more than just a compiler that generates instructions for the 486. The compiler libraries, as well as any libraries that are linked in statically should be suitable as well. The GCC version included in most current Linux distributions is able to generate 486-only object files (I think), but its libraries and stub objects (e.g. crtbegin.o) have been pre-generated for 686 CPUs.
There are two main alternatives here:
Use a Linux build system that is compiled for 486 itself, either in a VM or in a chroot jail. Unfortunately getting a modern Linux distribution for the 486 is a bit of an issue - every single major distribution has moved on. Perhaps a (much) older Linux distribution would be of help?
Create a full cross-compiler toolchain for the 486. You can then cross-compile separate versions of all needed libraries and have your build scripts use them. Quite honestly, ensuring that nothing from the (usually 686-based) build host slips through to the build result is not very easy. It oftens amounts to cross-compiling a whole Linux system from scratch, ala CLFS.
An automated cross-compiler toolchain build script, such as crosstool-ng might be of help.
Could you add more details about your target system? Is it an embedded system or just an old PC? What OS is it using? Would it be possible to just run your compile in a VM with a version of the target OS?

How to start ARM programming in linux?

I was using PIC micro controller for my projects. Now I would like to move to ARM based Controllers. I would like to start ARM using Linux (using C). But I have no idea how to start using Linux. Which compiler is best, what all things I need to study like a lot of confusions. Can you guys help me on that? My projects usually includes UART, IIC, LCD and such things. I am not using any RTOS. Can you guys help me?
Sorry for my bad English
Once you put a heavyweight OS like Linux on a device, the level of abstraction from the hardware it provides makes it largely irrelevant what the chip is. If you want to learn something about ARM specifically, using Linux is a way of avoiding exactly that!
Morover the jump from PIC to ARM + Linux is huge. Linux does not get out of bed for less that 4Mb or RAM and considerably more non-volatile storage - and that is a bare minimum. ARM chips cover a broad spectrum, with low-end parts not even capable of supporting Linux. To make Linux worthwhile you need an ARM part with MMU support, which excludes a large range of ARM7 and Cortex-M parts.
There are plenty of smaller operating systems for ARM that will allow you to perform efficient (and hard real-time) scheduling and IPC with a very small footprint. They range form simple scheduling kernels such as FreeRTOS to more complete operating systems with standard device support and networking such as eCOS. Even if you use a simple scheduler, there are plenty of libraries available to support networking, filesystems, USB etc.
The answer to your question about compiler is almost certainly GCC - thet is the compiler Linux is built with. You will need a cross-compiler to build the kernel itself, but if you do have an ARM platform with sufficient resource, once you have Linux running on it, your target can host a compiler natively.
If you truly want to use Linux on ARM against all my advice, then the lowest cost, least effort approach to doing so is perhaps to use a Raspberry Pi. It is an ARM11 based board that runs Linux out of the box, is increasingly widely supported, and can be overclocked to 900MHz
You can also try using the Beagle Bone development board. To start with it has few features like UART I2C and others also u can give a try developing the device driver modules for the hardware.
ARM Linux compilers and build toolchains are provided by many vendors. Below are your options which I know of:
1.ARM themselves in form of their product DS-5 ;
2.Codesourcery now acquired by Mentor graphics. See some instructions to obtain & install, codesourcery toolchain for ARM linux here
3.To first start programming using ARM (C , assembly ) I find this Windows-Cygwin version of ARM linux tool chain very helpfull. Here. These are prebuilt executables which work under Cygwin(A Posix shell layer) on Windows.
4.Another option would be to cross compile gcc/g++ toolchain on Linux for ARM target of your choice. Search and web will have information about how it is done. But this could be a slightly mroe involved and long-winding process.
enjoy ARM'ing.
First, you should question yourself if you really need to program assembly language, most modern compilers are hard to beat when it comes to generating optimized code.
Then if you decide you really need it, you can make life easier for your self by using inline assembler, and let the compiler write the glue code for you, as shown in this wikipedia article.
Then the compiler to use: For free compilers there are practically only two choices: either gcc or clang.
There is also a non free toolchain from arm which when i last tried, 5 years ago, produced about 30% faster code than gcc at the time. I have not used it since.
The latest version of this compiler can be found here
You can also write standalone assembler code in .s files, both gcc and clang can compile .s into .o in the same way you would compile a .c or .cpp file.
If you are using a STM32 based microcontroller you need to get CMSIS and GNU arm-non-eabi-gcc package installed. Then you need to write your own makefile to pass your c codes into arm gcc compiler.
For the programming step you need to install openocd and configure that for your specific programmer. You can find a full description on how to do that on my blog and in my GitHub repository.
I'm using vim with CTags but you can use gEdit with the Shortcut plugin if you need a simpler text editor.

Profiling on baremetal embedded systems (ARM)

I am wondering how you profile software on bare metal systems (ARM Cortex a8)? Previously I was using a simulator which had built-in benchmark statistics, and now I want to compare results from real hardware (running on a BeagleBoard-Xm).
I understand that you can use gprof, however I'm kind of lost as that assumes you have to run Linux on the target system?
I build the executable file with Codesourcery's arm-none-eabi cross-compiler and the target system is running FreeRTOS.
Closely evaluate what you mean by "profiling". You are indeed operating very close to bare metal, and it's likely that you will be required to take on some of the work performed by a tool like gprof.
Do you want to time a function call? or an ISR? How about toggling a GPIO line upon entering and exiting the code under inspection. A data logger or oscilloscope can be set to trigger on these events. (In my experience, a data logger is more convenient since mine could be configured to capture a sequence of these events - allowing me to compute average timings.)
Do you want to count the number of executions? The Cortex A8 comes equipped with a number of features (like configurable event counters) that can assist: link. Your ARM chip may be equipped with other peripherals that could be used, as well (depending on the vendor). Regardless, take a look at the above link - the new ARMs have lots of cool features that I don't get to play with as much as I would like! ;-)
I have managed to get profiling working for ARM Cortex M. As the GNU ARM Embedded (launchpad) tools do not come with profiling libraries included, I have added the necessary glue and profiling functionality.
I hope this helps.