Variable Pipeline Depth Processor for Energy Efficient Systems

Akihiko HYODO

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E86-A    No.12    pp.2983-2990
Publication Date: 2003/12/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
Category: Power Optimization
energy efficient design,  variable pipeline depth,  dynamic pipeline and voltage scaling,  optimal pipelining,  

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This paper presents a variable pipeline depth processor, which can dynamically adjust its pipeline depth and operating voltage at run-time, we call dynamic pipeline and voltage scaling (DPVS), depending on the workload characteristics under timing constraints. The advantage of adjusting pipeline depth is that it can eliminate the useless energy dissipation of the additional stalls, or NOPs and wrong-path instructions which would increase as the pipeline depth grow deeper in excess of the inherent parallelism. Although dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) is a very effective technique in itself for reducing energy dissipation, lowering supply voltage also causes performance degradation. By combining with dynamic pipeline scaling (DPS), it would be possible to retain performance at required level while reducing energy dissipation much further. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our DPVS approach for a variety of benchmarks, reducing total energy dissipation by up to 64.90% with an average of 27.42% without any effect on performance, compared with a processor using only DVS.