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Subject[PATCH 15/85] perf intel-pt: Document IPC usage
From: Adrian Hunter <>

Add brief documentation about instructions-per-cycle (IPC) information
derived from Intel PT.

Signed-off-by: Adrian Hunter <>
Cc: Jiri Olsa <>
Signed-off-by: Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo <>
tools/perf/Documentation/intel-pt.txt | 30 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 30 insertions(+)

diff --git a/tools/perf/Documentation/intel-pt.txt b/tools/perf/Documentation/intel-pt.txt
index 60d99e5e7921..50c5b60101bd 100644
--- a/tools/perf/Documentation/intel-pt.txt
+++ b/tools/perf/Documentation/intel-pt.txt
@@ -103,6 +103,36 @@ The flags are "bcrosyiABEx" which stand for branch, call, return, conditional,
system, asynchronous, interrupt, transaction abort, trace begin, trace end, and
in transaction, respectively.

+Another interesting field that is not printed by default is 'ipc' which can be
+displayed as follows:
+ perf script --itrace=be -F+ipc
+There are two ways that instructions-per-cycle (IPC) can be calculated depending
+on the recording.
+If the 'cyc' config term (see config terms section below) was used, then IPC is
+calculated using the cycle count from CYC packets, otherwise MTC packets are
+used - refer to the 'mtc' config term. When MTC is used, however, the values
+are less accurate because the timing is less accurate.
+Because Intel PT does not update the cycle count on every branch or instruction,
+the values will often be zero. When there are values, they will be the number
+of instructions and number of cycles since the last update, and thus represent
+the average IPC since the last IPC for that event type. Note IPC for "branches"
+events is calculated separately from IPC for "instructions" events.
+Also note that the IPC instruction count may or may not include the current
+instruction. If the cycle count is associated with an asynchronous branch
+(e.g. page fault or interrupt), then the instruction count does not include the
+current instruction, otherwise it does. That is consistent with whether or not
+that instruction has retired when the cycle count is updated.
+Another note, in the case of "branches" events, non-taken branches are not
+presently sampled, so IPC values for them do not appear e.g. a CYC packet with a
+TNT packet that starts with a non-taken branch. To see every possible IPC
+value, "instructions" events can be used e.g. --itrace=i0ns
While it is possible to create scripts to analyze the data, an alternative
approach is available to export the data to a sqlite or postgresql database.
Refer to script or for more details,
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