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System-Level Online Power Estimation Using an On-Chip Bus Performance Monitoring Unit

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4 Author(s)
Younghyun Kim ; Seoul Nat. Univ., Seoul, South Korea ; Sangyoung Park ; Youngjin Cho ; Naehyuck Chang

Quality power estimation is a basis of efficient power management of electronic systems. Indirect power measurement, such as power estimation using a CPU performance monitoring unit (PMU), is widely used for its low cost and area overheads. However, the existing CPU PMUs only monitor the core and cache activities, which result in a significant accuracy limitation in the system-wide power estimation including off-chip memory devices. In this paper, we propose an on-chip bus (OCB) PMU that directly captures on-chip and off-chip component activities by snooping the OCB. The OCB PMU stores the activity information in separate counters, and online software converts counter values into actual power values with simple first-order linear power models. We also introduce an optimization algorithm that minimizes the energy model to reduce the number of counters in the OCB PMU. We compare the accuracy of the power estimation using the proposed OCB PMU with real hardware measurement and cycle-accurate system-level power estimation, and demonstrate high estimation accuracy compared with CPU PMU-based estimation method.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 11 )