Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a low-power encoding framework for embedded processor instruction buses. The encoder is capable of adjusting its encoding not only to suit applications but furthermore to suit different aspects of particular program execution. It achieves this by exploiting application-specific knowledge regarding program hot-spots, and thus identifies efficient instruction transformations so as to minimize the bit transitions on the instruction bus lines. Not only is the switching activity on the individual bus lines considered but so is the coupling activity across adjacent bus lines, a foremost contributor to the total power dissipation in the case of nanometer technologies. Low-power codes are utilized in a reprogrammable application specific manner. The restriction to two well-selected classes of simply computable, functional transformations delivers significant storage benefits and ease of reprogrammability, in the process obtaining significant power savings. The microarchitectural support enables reprogrammability of the encoding transformations in order to track code particularities effectively. Such reprogrammability is achieved by utilizing small tables that store relevant application information. The few transformations that result in optimal power reductions for each application hot-spot are selected by utilizing short indices stored into a table, which is accessed only once at the beginning of the transformed bit sequence. Extensive experimental results show significant power reductions ranging up to 80% for switching activity on bus lines and up to 70% when bus coupling effects are also considered.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:12 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004