Issue Queue Energy Reduction through Dynamic Voltage Scaling


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E85-C   No.2   pp.272-278
Publication Date: 2002/02/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on High-Performance and Low-Power Microprocessors)
Category: Low-Power Technologies
issue queue,  computer architecture,  low power,  voltage scaling,  

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With increased size and issue-width, instruction issue queue becomes one of the most energy consuming units in today's superscalar microprocessors. This paper presents a novel architectural technique to reduce energy dissipation of adaptive issue queue, whose functionality is dynamically adjusted at runtime to match the changing computational demands of instruction stream. In contrast to existing schemes, the technique exploits a new freedom in queue design, namely the voltage per access. Since loading capacitance operated in the adaptive queue varies in time, the clock cycle budget becomes inefficiently exploited. We propose to trade-off the unused cycle time with supply voltage, lowering the voltage level when the queue functionality is reduced and increasing it with the activation of resources in the queue. Experiments show that the approach can save up to 39% of the issue queue energy without large performance and area overhead.