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Reconfiguring Issue Logic for Microprocessor Power/Performance Throttling

By et al. Edwin Olson


A growing need for computational power in mobile devices has spawned increased interest in low-power microprocessors. Some low-power applications require very high performance, such as real-time video decoding on Personal Digital Assistants. A growing body of work has examined how to provide this high performance when needed, while throttling performance so that power consumption can drop to very low levels when performance is not required. Observing that the issue logic in an out-oforder microprocessor consumes a significant amount of power, several groups have attempted to modify this part of the processor so that it can dynamically enter a low-power mode. We have revisited these topics and our work shows that simple approaches to modifying issue logic fail to reduce the average energy per instruction. We also look at the possibility of including a low-power single-issue processor on the same die as a high-performance multiple-issue processor. Swapping between these two processors allows a dynamic tradeoff between power and performance

Topics: Index terms—Issue Window, Issue Logic, Out-of-Order, Low Power, Power/Performance Throttling
Year: 2000
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