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In recent years, chip multiprocessors (CMP) have emerged as a solution for high-speed computing demands. However, power dissipation in CMPs can be high if numerous cores are simultaneously active. Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) is widely used to reduce the active power, but its effectiveness and cost depends on the granularity at which it is applied. Per-core DVFS allows the greatest flexibility in controlling power, but incurs the expense of an unrealistically large number of on-chip voltage regulators. Per-chip DVFS, where all cores are controlled by a single regulator overcomes this problem at the expense of greatly reduced flexibility. This work considers the problem of building an intermediate solution, clustering the cores of a multicore processor into DVFS domains and implementing DVFS on a per-cluster basis. Based on a typical workload, we propose a scheme to find similarity among the cores and cluster them based on this similarity. We also provide an algorithm to implement DVFS for the clusters, and evaluate the effectiveness of per-cluster DVFS in power reduction.
Date of Conference: 14-18 March 2011