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georgewr3 05-16-2008 09:38 AM

time acceleration
Is there a way to accelerate time on a linux system? (Suse 10.2)

Our system often has problems that occur only in real time. I would like to run a test that takes a day and accelerate it to say, 5 minutes.


pixellany 05-16-2008 10:17 AM

"accelerate time"--that would be a real breakthrough--right up there with cold fusion....;)

Seriously, if any given process is running with reasonable efficiency, the only way to accelerate it would be to increase the clock frequency and/or add more processors. (The latter would normally require modifying the code to use them efficiently.)

To give a substantive answer, we would need to see the details of what you are doing.

georgewr3 05-16-2008 10:27 AM

Our product is a time monitoring system. Based on events from some external machinery, our code makes decisions and then records subsequent data (to a database but that's unimportant)

As an example, a idle event is received, then when a certain amount of time has elapsed, a record is recorded into the database. Often the elapsed time is in hours. Writing a manual process to run this in batch fashion without time elapsing behaves differently in some cases than it does in real time. This is a trivial example of a much more complex process but the concept is the same. It would be ideal to be able to 'speed up real time' on our system. Since it's scripting language it's not processor dependent but ideally I would like to just speed up the box. How does one speed up the clock?

pixellany 05-16-2008 10:45 AM

"speed up the clock" on a PC is typically called "overclocking". Depending on the type of cooling, this might get you an increase of 10-50% (more with really extreme cooling methods).......nothing remotely approaching what you are looking for. To change the operation time from a day to 5 minutes, you need a whole new design.

salasi 05-16-2008 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by georgewr3 (Post 3155235)
Our system often has problems that occur only in real time.

One of the problems, apart from the detail of running the processor with a faster clock (which is probably easy if you want 5%, somewhat difficult if you want 10 - 15%, and extrapolate yourself from there) is that if you don't want to introduce new bugs, you have to speed everything up.

That probably includes odd things that you haven't thought about like interrupts and timer/counters and the hard disk. And, of course, the external machinery.

Now if you do find a way of speeding up the hard disk, do please let me know, but I think you'll run into real difficulty when it comes to speeding up the rest of the universe (simplification: you may be able to get away with only speeding up the bit of the universe to which the system directly interfaces).

In general, this is one of the problems with real time. It is real and it is time and that makes it harder to debug stuff.

There are things that make the system faster (i.e., have greater throughput) but it is unclear whether these are likely to make the existing errors happen after shorter time intervals or introduce completely new errors or make the old errors go away. If you are really lucky, you make the old errors go away and introduce new errors, so that you now spend all of your time debugging stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the original problem.

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