Power-aware control speculation through selective throttling
The Ninth International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, 2003. HPCA-9 2003. Proceedings.
With the constant advances in technology that lead to the increasing of the transistor count and processor frequency, power dissipation is becoming one of the major issues in high-performance processors. These processors increase their clock frequency by lengthening the pipeline, which puts more pressure on the branch prediction engine since branches take longer to be resolved. Branch mispredictions are responsible for around 28% of the power dissipated by a typical processor due to the useless
... activities performed by instructions that are squashed. This work focuses on reducing the power dissipated by mis-speculated instructions. We propose Selective Throttling as an effective way of triggering different power-aware techniques (fetch throttling, decode throttling or disabling the selection logic). The particular set of techniques applied to each branch is dynamically chosen depending on the branch prediction confidence level. For branches with a low confidence on the prediction, the most aggressive throttling mechanism is used whereas high confidence branch predictions trigger the least aggressive techniques. Results show that combining fetch bandwidth reduction along with select logic disabling provides the best performance both in terms of energy reduction and energy-delay improvement (14% and 9% respectively for 14 stages, and 17% and 12% respectively for 28 stages).