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Sands of Time: An External Stopwatch for Measuring the Timing of Events in a Computer or Distributed Computing Environment



Eric D. Simmon, Ya-Shian Li-Baboud, John V. Messina


Meeting the rising complexity challenges of Advaced Process Control in semiconductor manufacturing requires improvement in the performance of software and networks utilized within the factory. Information must flow expeditiously throughout the APC system within a well-defined period of time in order to maximize productivity. Towards this end, tools developed to accurately measure software and network performance in the factories are required to properly design and test new and existing APC systems. We propose and develop a system that uses an external calibrated data acquisition system and software-based trigger hooks to make this type of measurement. Measuring the time it takes for a piece of code to execute or the time it takes for an event to occur between two entities in a distributed environment is not a trivial task. Due to the virtual nature of a computer system, most conventional operating system provide no access to a reliable, real-time clock, and programming languages offer very little support for accurate time measurement. This paper will discuss the prototype system we built and some of the possible future enhancements.
Proceedings Title
AEC/APC Symposium
Conference Dates
September 26-29, 2005
Conference Location
Indian Wells, CA, USA


Advanced Process Control, Benchmarking, distributed computing, software performance


Simmon, E. , Li-Baboud, Y. and Messina, J. (2006), Sands of Time: An External Stopwatch for Measuring the Timing of Events in a Computer or Distributed Computing Environment, AEC/APC Symposium, Indian Wells, CA, USA (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021