Maintaining performance on power gating of microprocessor functional units by using a predictive pre-wakeup strategy

Chang Ching Yeh*, Kuei Chung Chang, Tien-Fu Chen, Chingwei Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Power gating is an effective technique for reducing leakage power in deep submicron CMOS technology. Microarchitectural techniques for power gating of functional units have been developed by detecting suitable idle regions and turning them off to reduce leakage energy consumption; however, wakeup of functional units is needed when instructions are ready for execution such that wakeup overhead is naturally incurred. This study presents time-based power gating with reference pre-wakeup (PGRP), a novel predictive strategy that detects suitable idle periods for power gating and then enables pre-wakeup of needed functional units for avoiding wakeup overhead. The key insight is that most wakeups are repeated due to program locality. Thus, the pre-wakeup predictor learns the wakeup events and selects which prior branch instruction can provide early wakeup (wakeup patterns are visible); these information are then used to adequately prepare available functional units for instruction execution. Simulation results with benchmarks from SPEC2000 applications show that substantial leakage energy reduction with negligible performance degradation (0.38% on average) is worthwhile.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalTransactions on Architecture and Code Optimization
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Leakage-power reduction
  • Low power
  • Power gating

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