Power efficiency of voltage scaling in multiple clock, multiple voltage cores

Anoop Iyer, Diana Marculescu
2002 Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), IEEE International Conference on  
Due to increasing clock speeds, increasing design sizes and shrinking technologies, it is becoming more and more challenging to distribute a single global clock throughout a chip. In this paper we study the effect of using a Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous (GALS) organization for a superscalar, out-of-order processor, both in terms of power and performance. To this end, we propose a novel modeling and simulation environment for multiple clock cores with static or dynamically variable
more » ... oltages for each synchronous block. Using this design exploration environment we were able to assess the power/performance tradeoffs available for Multiple Clock, Single Voltage (MCSV), as well as Multiple Clock, Dynamic Voltage (MCDV) cores. Our results show that MCSV processors are 10% more power efficient when compared to single-clock single voltage designs with a performance penalty of about 10%. By exploiting the flexibility of independent dynamic voltage scaling the various clock domains, the power efficiency of GALS designs can be improved by 12% on average, and up to 20% more in select cases. The power efficiency of MCDV cores becomes comparable with the one of Single Clock, Dynamic Voltage (SCDV) cores, while being up to 8% better in some cases. Our results show that MCDV cores consume 22% less power at an average 12% performance loss.
doi:10.1145/774572.774629 dblp:conf/iccad/IyerM02 fatcat:st2sjbppozghpgoxmqlxf6zu2y