Conservation cores: Reducing the energy of mature computations

Ganesh Venkatesh, Jack Sampson, Nathan Goulding, Saturnino Garcia, Vladyslav Bryksin, Jose Lugo-Martinez, Steven Swanson, Michael Bedford Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

232 Scopus citations

Abstract

Growing transistor counts, limited power budgets, and the breakdown of voltage scaling are currently conspiring to create a utilization wall that limits the fraction of a chip that can run at full speed at one time. In this regime, specialized, energy-efficient processors can increase parallelism by reducing the per-computation power requirements and allowing more computations to execute under the same power budget. To pursue this goal, this paper introduces conservation cores. Conservation cores, or c-cores, are specialized processors that focus on reducing energy and energy-delay instead of increasing performance. This focus on energy makes c-cores an excellent match for many applications that would be poor candidates for hardware acceleration (e.g., irregular integer codes). We present a toolchain for automatically synthesizing c-cores from application source code and demonstrate that they can significantly reduce energy and energy-delay for a wide range of applications. The c-cores support patching, a form of targeted reconfigurability, that allows them to adapt to new versions of the software they target. Our results show that conservation cores can reduce energy consumption by up to 16.0x for functions and by up to 2.1x for whole applications, while patching can extend the useful lifetime of individual c-cores to match that of conventional processors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASPLOS XV - 15th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems
Pages205-218
Number of pages14
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2010
Event15th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS XV - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2010Mar 17 2010

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems - ASPLOS

Other

Other15th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS XV
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA
Period3/13/103/17/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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