MICA: Microarchitecture-Independent Characterization of Applications

Ghent University, Belgium

Kenneth Hoste and Lieven Eeckhout

kenneth.hoste@ugent.be , leeckhou@elis.ugent.be

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What is MICA?

MICA is short for Microarchitecture-Independent Characterization of Applications.

MICA is a Pin tool which allows the user to collect a number of program characteristics to quantify runtime program behavior.

These program characteristics are totally independent of the microarchitecture (cache configuration, branch predictor, ...) on which the measurements are done, in contrast to other workload characterization techniques using simulation or hardware performance counters.


(Feb. 27th 2011)
I am no longer actively working in the field of computer architecture research.
Nevertheless, I will try and support MICA in the coming years.
If you notice that the last release of MICA isn't working for you, e.g. with the latest Pin kit, please contact me (kenneth.hoste@ugent.be)

March 26th 2012

Release of MICA v0.40

Aug. 29th 2011

Release of MICA v0.32

Feb. 28th 2011

Release of MICA v0.31

Feb. 27th 2011

Release of MICA v0.3

Sep. 22th 2009

Release of MICA v0.23:

Jun. 13th 2008

Release of MICA v0.22, including:

May 20th 2008

Release of MICA v0.21, including:

Mar. 26th 2008

Fixed some faulty hyperlinks in the publication section, and added a new paper on phase-level workload characterization, to be presented at ISPASS-2008 (Austin (TX), April 2008). This is the first paper that actually uses MICA...

Dec. 3rd 2007

Release of MICA v0.2, which includes some important bug fixes and added features:

The new release is available here.

Sept. 29th 2007

Official introduction of MICA at the Pin tutorial at IISWC-2007. Slides for the presentation are available here, full code examples used in the tutorial are available here (gzipped tarball here).

Sept. 26th 2007

A sneak preview of MICA was shown as part of an presentation I was giving at Intel Hudson (near Boston (MA), US). The Pin development team gave a lot of great feedback on how MICA could be improved and extended, and they were interested in using part of the code for their ongoing research.


You can download MICA below. The Pin tool is released under a BSD license, which basically means "do what you want with it, just don't pretend it's yours".

If you are using MICA for a paper, please refer to the IEEE Micro article below for the microarchitecture-independent characterization methodology.

Download MICA v0.40

How do I ...?

Related publications