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Single-ISA heterogeneous multi-core architectures: the potential for processor power reduction

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5 Author(s)
Kumar, R. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., California Univ., San Diego, CA, USA ; Farkas, K.I. ; Jouppi, N.P. ; Ranganathan, P.
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This paper proposes and evaluates single-ISA heterogeneous multi-core architectures as a mechanism to reduce processor power dissipation. Our design incorporates heterogeneous cores representing different points in the power/performance design space; during an application's execution, system software dynamically chooses the most appropriate core to meet specific performance and power requirements. Our evaluation of this architecture shows significant energy benefits. For an objective function that optimizes for energy efficiency with a tight performance threshold, for 14 SPEC benchmarks, our results indicate a 39% average energy reduction while only sacrificing 3% in performance. An objective function that optimizes for energy-delay with looser performance bounds achieves, on average, nearly a factor of three improvements in energy-delay product while sacrificing only 22% in performance. Energy savings are substantially more than chip-wide voltage/frequency scaling.

Published in:

Microarchitecture, 2003. MICRO-36. Proceedings. 36th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

3-5 Dec. 2003