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PowerFITS: Reduce Dynamic and Static I-Cache Power Using Application Specific Instruction Set Synthesis

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3 Author(s)
Cheng, A.C. ; Adv. Comput. Archit. Lab., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Tyson, G.S. ; Mudge, T.N.

Power consumption, performance, area, and cost are critical concerns in designing microprocessors for embedded systems such as portable handheld computing and personal telecommunication devices. In previous work [A. Cheng et al., (2004)], we introduced the concept of framework-based instruction-set tuning synthesis (FITS), which is a new instruction synthesis paradigm that falls between a general-purpose embedded processor and a synthesized application specific processor (ASP). We address these design constraints through FITS by improving the code density. A FITS processor improves code density by tailoring the instruction set to the requirement of a target application to reduce the code size. This is achieved by replacing the fixed instruction and register decoding of general purpose embedded processor with programmable decoders that can achieve ASP performance, low power consumption, and compact chip area with the fabrication advantages of a mass produced single chip solution to amortize the cost. Instruction cache has been recognized as one of the most predominant source of power dissipation in a microprocessor. For instance, in Intel's StrongARMprocessor, 27% of total chip power loss goes into the instruction cache [J. Montanaro et al., (1996)]. In this paper, we demonstrate how FITS can be applied to improve the instruction cache power efficiency. Experimental results show that our synthesized instruction sets result in significant power reduction in the instruction cache compared to ARM instructions. For 21 benchmarks from the MiBench suite [M. Guthaus et al., (2001)], our simulation results indicate on average: a 49.4% saving for switching power; a 43.9% saving for internal power; a 14.9% saving for leakage power; a 46.6% saving for total cache power with up to 60.3% saving for peak power

Published in:

Performance Analysis of Systems and Software, 2005. ISPASS 2005. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

20-22 March 2005