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Power estimation and power optimization policies for processor-based systems

Authors
Publisher
E.T.S.I. Telecomunicación (UPM)
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Telecomunicaciones
  • Informática
Disciplines
  • Astronomy
  • Design

Abstract

This PhD Thesis proposes new and effective approaches to reduce and estímate the power consumption in processor-based architectures. This work targets embedded systems, inorder and out-of-order processors, cache hierarchies and MPSoCs. Our approaches are designad to reduce or estimate the power consumption while keeping the performance constraints of the application and allowing the porting to other processor architectures without a hard effort by the designen In this context, a first work was the design of a cache power estimation tool (called IN^ CAPE), which works in parallel with the processor simulator. The power estimation utihty bases its results on an analytical power model, which has been fed with the expHcit calculation of the statistical switching activity. After that, reducing the power consumption in the register file of the processor architecture was the goal of the research. Given that the register file is one of the most power-hungry devices, firstly an efficient hardware mechanism to tum the unused registers of the register file into a low power state has been described. A DVS technique is used to keep the Information stored in the registers while reducing the power consumption to a mínimum. This hardware technique has been compared to an approach based on a power-aware compiler, which modifies the register assignment to improve the results obtained with the banking of the register file, as well as to reduce the number of required ports. Out-of-order architectures have also been addressed, with a higher degree of complexity. For these systems, compiler and hardware approaches have also been proposed to efficiently reduce the power consumption of the register file. Finally, MPSoCs are also the new paradigm of high-performance microprocessor design, where the power dissipation becomes an even more dramatic problem. These architectures present complex design issues where the power-performance trade-off has to be carefully analyzed in order to bring efficient designs. The work presented in this Ph. D. aims at overcoming the limitation of theoretical and highly abstract models, unable to target the This PhD Thesis proposes new and effective approaches to reduce and estímate the power consumption in processor-based architectures. This work targets embedded systems, inorder and out-of-order processors, cache hierarchies and MPSoCs. Our approaches are designad to reduce or estimate the power consumption while keeping the performance constraints of the application and allowing the porting to other processor architectures without a hard effort by the designen In this context, a first work was the design of a cache power estimation tool (called IN^ CAPE), which works in parallel with the processor simulator. The power estimation utihty bases its results on an analytical power model, which has been fed with the expHcit calculation of the statistical switching activity. After that, reducing the power consumption in the register file of the processor architecture was the goal of the research. Given that the register file is one of the most power-hungry devices, firstly an efficient hardware mechanism to tum the unused registers of the register file into a low power state has been described. A DVS technique is used to keep the Information stored in the registers while reducing the power consumption to a mínimum. This hardware technique has been compared to an approach based on a power-aware compiler, which modifies the register assignment to improve the results obtained with the banking of the register file, as well as to reduce the number of required ports. Out-of-order architectures have also been addressed, with a higher degree of complexity. For these systems, compiler and hardware approaches have also been proposed to efficiently reduce the power consumption of the register file. Finally, MPSoCs are also the new paradigm of high-performance microprocessor design, where the power dissipation becomes an even more dramatic problem. These architectures present complex design issues where the power-performance trade-off has to be carefully analyzed in order to bring efficient designs. The work presented in this Ph. D. aims at overcoming the limitation of theoretical and highly abstract models, unable to target the desired functional simulation and power estimation. This work also presents interesting results in terms of dynamic power management, voltage/frequency scaling and design space exploration in MPSoCs.

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