Processor design is a complicated art. One cannot wait for the system to be built before understanding how a potential design might perform. So early stage analysis is vital in computer architecture. To enable early stage microprocessor power and performance studies, one must rely on hardware simulators and analytics models that are sufficiently detailed enough to provide crucial insights that can provide first-order insights to a hardware architect.
As the statistician George Box one said, "All models are wrong, but some are useful." We strive to develop simulation tools and models that are useful. Our group develops performance, power and reliability models for various processor types. These models are validated against hardware measurements to ensure their robustness. They are then used to guide processor architecture.