Making typical silicon matter with Razor

T. Austin, D. Blaauw, T. Mudge, K. Flautner
2004 Computer  
A n old adage says, "If you're not failing some of the time, you're not trying hard enough." To address the power challenges that current on-chip densities pose, we adapted this precept to circuit design. Razor, 1 a voltage-scaling technology based on dynamic detection and correction of circuit timing errors, permits design optimizations that tune the energy in a microprocessor pipeline to typical circuit operational levels. This eliminates the voltage margins that traditional worst-case design
more » ... methodologies require and allows digital systems to run correctly and robustly at the edge of minimum power consumption. Occasional heavyweight computations may fail and require additional time and energy for recovery, but the overall computation in the optimized pipeline requires significantly less energy than traditional designs. Razor supports timing speculation through a combination of architectural and circuit techniques, which we have implemented in a prototype Razor pipeline in 0.18-micrometer technology. Simulation results of the SPEC2000 benchmarks showed energy savings for every benchmark, up to a 64 percent savings with less than 3 percent performance impact for error recovery.
doi:10.1109/mc.2004.1274005 fatcat:f6ogrfauyrdo5adqz2quqigvpy