The profile provider provides probes associated with a time-based interrupt firing every fixed, specified time interval. These unanchored probes that are not associated with any particular point of execution, but rather with the asynchronous interrupt event. These probes can be used to sample some aspect of system state every unit time and the samples can then be used to infer system behavior. If the sampling rate is high, or the sampling time is long, an accurate inference is possible. Using DTrace actions, the profile provider can be used to sample practically anything in the system. For example, you could sample the state of the current thread, the state of the CPU, or the current machine instruction.
Note - Thread-local variables are inaccessible to probes from the profile provider. Using the special identifier self to reference a thread-local variable with such a probe will produce no output.