Toward a multiple clock/voltage island design style for power-aware processors

E. Talpes, D. Marculescu
2005 IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (vlsi) Systems  
Enabled by the continuous advancement in fabrication technology, present-day synchronous microprocessors include more than 100 million transistors and have clock speeds well in excess of the 1-GHz mark. Distributing a low-skew clock signal in this frequency range to all areas of a large chip is a task of growing complexity. As a solution to this problem, designers have recently suggested the use of frequency islands that are locally clocked and externally communicate with each other using mixed
more » ... clock communication schemes. Such a design style fits nicely with the recently proposed concept of voltage islands that, in addition, can potentially enable fine-grain dynamic power management by simultaneous voltage and frequency scaling. This paper proposes a design exploration framework for application-adaptive multiple-clock processors which provides the means for analyzing and identifying the right interdomain communication scheme and the proper granularity for the choice of voltage/frequency islands in case of superscalar, out-of-order processors. In addition, the presented design exploration framework allows for comparative analysis of newly proposed or already published application-driven dynamic power management strategies. Such a design exploration framework and accompanying results can help designers and computer architects in choosing the right design strategy for achieving better power-performance tradeoffs in multiple-clock high-end processors.
doi:10.1109/tvlsi.2005.844305 fatcat:7azarbcc4rbzfbimlassepc5ki