pt_qry_time man page

pt_qry_time, pt_qry_core_bus_ratio, pt_insn_time, pt_insn_core_bus_ratio, pt_blk_time, pt_blk_core_bus_ratio — query an Intel(R) Processor Trace decoder for timing information


#include <intel-pt.h>

int pt_qry_time(struct pt_query_decoder *decoder, uint64_t *time,

                uint32_t *lost_mtc, uint32_t *lost_cyc);

int pt_qry_core_bus_ratio(struct pt_query_decoder *decoder,

                          uint32_t *cbr);

int pt_insn_time(struct pt_insn_decoder *decoder, uint64_t *time,

                 uint32_t *lost_mtc, uint32_t *lost_cyc);

int pt_insn_core_bus_ratio(struct pt_insn_decoder *decoder,

                           uint32_t *cbr);

int pt_blk_time(struct pt_block_decoder *decoder, uint64_t *time,

                uint32_t *lost_mtc, uint32_t *lost_cyc);

int pt_blk_core_bus_ratio(struct pt_block_decoder *decoder,

                          uint32_t *cbr);

Link with -lipt.


pt_qry_time(), pt_insn_time(), and pt_blk_time() provide the current estimated timestamp count (TSC) value in the unsigned integer variable pointed to by the time argument. The returned value corresponds to what an rdtsc instruction would have returned.

At configurable intervals, Intel PT contains the full, accurate TSC value. Between those intervals, the timestamp count is estimated using a collection of lower-bandwidth packets, the Mini Time Counter (MTC) packet and the Cycle Count Packet (CYC). Depending on the Intel PT configuration, timing can be very precise at the cost of increased bandwidth or less precise but requiring lower bandwidth.

The decoder needs to be calibrated in order to translate Cycle Counter ticks into Core Crystal Clock ticks. Without calibration, CYC packets need to be dropped. The decoder calibrates itself using MTC, CYC, and CBR packets.

To interpret MTC and CYC packets, the decoder needs additional information provided in respective fields in the pt_config structure. Lacking this information, MTC packets may need to be dropped. This will impact the precision of the estimated timestamp count by losing periodic updates and it will impact calibration, which may result in reduced precision for cycle-accurate timing.

The number of dropped MTC and CYC packets gives a rough idea about the quality of the estimated timestamp count. The value of dropped MTC and CYC packets is given in the unsigned integer variables pointed to by the lost_mtc and lost_cyc arguments respectively. If one or both of the arguments is NULL, no information on lost packets is provided for the respective packet type.

pt_qry_core_bus_ratio(), pt_insn_core_bus_ratio(), and pt_blk_core_bus_ratio() give the last known core:bus ratio as provided by the Core Bus Ratio (CBR) Intel PT packet.

Return Value

All functions return zero on success or a negative pt_error_code enumeration constant in case of an error.



The decoder or time (pt_qry_time(), pt_insn_time(), and pt_blk_time()) or cbr (pt_qry_core_bus_ratio(), pt_insn_core_bus_ratio(), and pt_blk_core_bus_ratio()) argument is NULL.


There has not been a TSC packet to provide the full, accurate Time Stamp Count. There may have been MTC or CYC packets, so the provided time may be non-zero. It is zero if there has not been any timing packet yet.

Depending on the Intel PT configuration, TSC packets may not have been enabled. In this case, the time value provides the relative time based on other timing packets.


There has not been a CBR packet to provide the core:bus ratio. The cbr value is undefined in this case.

See Also

pt_qry_alloc_decoder(3), pt_qry_free_decoder(3), pt_qry_cond_branch(3), pt_qry_indirect_branch(3), pt_qry_event(3), pt_insn_alloc_decoder(3), pt_insn_free_decoder(3), pt_insn_next(3), pt_blk_alloc_decoder(3), pt_blk_free_decoder(3), pt_blk_next(3)

Referenced By

pt_blk_alloc_decoder(3), pt_blk_get_offset(3), pt_blk_next(3), pt_blk_sync_forward(3), pt_insn_alloc_decoder(3), pt_insn_get_offset(3), pt_insn_next(3), pt_insn_sync_forward(3), pt_qry_alloc_decoder(3), pt_qry_cond_branch(3), pt_qry_event(3), pt_qry_get_offset(3), pt_qry_sync_forward(3).

The man pages pt_blk_core_bus_ratio(3), pt_blk_time(3), pt_insn_core_bus_ratio(3), pt_insn_time(3) and pt_qry_core_bus_ratio(3) are aliases of pt_qry_time(3).