Exploring Energy-Performance Trade-Offs for Heterogeneous Interconnect Clustered VLIW Processors

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Clustered architecture processors are preferred for embedded systems because centralized register file architectures scale poorly in terms of clock rate, chip area, and power consumption. Although clustering helps by improving clock speed, reducing energy consumption of the logic, and making the design simpler, it introduces extra overheads by way of inter-cluster communication. This communication happens over long global wires which leads to delay in execution and significantly high energy consumption.

In this paper, we propose a new instruction scheduling algorithm that exploits scheduling slacks of instructions and communication slacks of data values together to achieve better energy-performance trade-offs for clustered architectures with heterogeneous interconnect. Our instruction scheduling algorithm achieves 35% and 40% reduction in communication energy, whereas the overall energy-delay product improves by 4.5% and 6.5% respectively for 2 cluster and 4 cluster machines with marginal increase (1.6% and 1.1%) in execution time. Our test bed uses the Trimaran compiler infrastructure.