Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX)
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What is the overhead of simulation mode VS NO SGX at all?

X99
New Contributor I
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Hi @Jesus

I have a program that processes data, and I would like to assess the performance impact of SGX versus the very same program without SGX.

The question is: is SGX's simulation mode the same as "no SGX at all"? If not, is the overhead significant?

Thanks a lot.

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1 Solution
JesusG_Intel
Moderator
499 Views

Hello X99,


Running in Simulation mode is not recommended for performance testing. In Simulation mode, the SGX hardware instructions are simulated in the software, which is slower than running natively in hardware. Simulation mode also uses simulated versions of the trusted libraries, untrusted libraries, and PSW, which, again, are slower than the originals. To truly test SGX performance overhead you must use an SGX platform and use "Pre-release" mode, which uses compiler optimizations, but enclaves are launched in enclave-debug mode.

 

For further information on the compilation profiles, refer to the section "Enclave Project Configurations" in your Intel SGX Developer Reference Guide for your OS.


Whether the performance overhead due to Simulation mode is significant depends on the tolerance of the overhead in your use-case.


Sincerely,

Jesus G.

Intel Customer Support


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3 Replies
JesusG_Intel
Moderator
500 Views

Hello X99,


Running in Simulation mode is not recommended for performance testing. In Simulation mode, the SGX hardware instructions are simulated in the software, which is slower than running natively in hardware. Simulation mode also uses simulated versions of the trusted libraries, untrusted libraries, and PSW, which, again, are slower than the originals. To truly test SGX performance overhead you must use an SGX platform and use "Pre-release" mode, which uses compiler optimizations, but enclaves are launched in enclave-debug mode.

 

For further information on the compilation profiles, refer to the section "Enclave Project Configurations" in your Intel SGX Developer Reference Guide for your OS.


Whether the performance overhead due to Simulation mode is significant depends on the tolerance of the overhead in your use-case.


Sincerely,

Jesus G.

Intel Customer Support


JesusG_Intel
Moderator
458 Views

Hello X99,


Do you still need help with this issue?


Sincerely,

Jesus G.

Intel Customer Support


JesusG_Intel
Moderator
443 Views

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