Mont-Blanc 2020 is proud to have contributed to the new version of this very popular open-source tool for computer architecture research!
The open-source and community-supported gem5 simulator is one of the most popular tools for computer architecture research. This simulation infrastructure allows researchers to model modern computer hardware at the cycle level, and it has enough fidelity to boot unmodified Linux-based operating systems and run full applications for multiple architectures including x86, Arm®, and RISC-V.
The gem5 simulator has been under active development over the last nine years since the original gem5 release. In this time, there have been over 7500 commits to the codebase from over 250 unique contributors which have improved the simulator by adding new features, fixing bugs, and increasing the code quality. In this paper, we give an overview of gem5’s usage and features, describe the current state of the gem5 simulator, and enumerate the major changes since the initial release of gem5. We also discuss how the gem5 simulator has transitioned to a formal governance model to enable continued improvement and community support for the next 20 years of computer architecture research.