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An energy consumption characterization of on-chip interconnection networks for tiled CMP architectures


Continuous improvements in integration scale have made possible the inclusion of several processor cores on the same chip. Such designs have been named chip-multiprocessors (or CMPs) and constitute a good alternative to traditional monolithic designs for several reasons, among others, better levels of performance, scalability, and performance/energy ratio. On the other hand, higher clock frequencies and increasing number of transistors available on a single chip have revealed energy consumption as a critical design issue in current and future microarchitectures. In these architectures, the design of the on-chip interconnection network has proven to have significant impact on overall system performance and energy consumption, and that the wires used in such interconnect can be designed with varying latency, bandwidth, and power characteristics.

In this work, we present a detailed characterization of the energy-efficiency of a CMP for parallel scientific applications using Sim-PowerCMP, a detailed architectural-level power-performance simulation tool for CMP architectures that integrates several well-known contemporary simulators (RSIM, Hot Leakage and Orion) into a single framework that allows precise analysis and optimization of power dissipation (both dynamic and static) taking into account performance. In this characterization, we pay special attention to the energy consumed on the interconnection network. Results for an 8- and 16-core CMP show that the most power consuming messages are the replies that carry data (almost 70% on average of the total energy consumed in the interconnect) although they represent 30% of the total number of messages. Furthermore, we show that using on-chip wires with varying latency, bandwidth, and energy characteristics can reduce the energy dissipated by the links of the interconnection network about 65% with an average impact of 10% in the execution time.

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Correspondence to Antonio Flores.

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Flores, A., Aragón, J.L. & Acacio, M.E. An energy consumption characterization of on-chip interconnection networks for tiled CMP architectures. J Supercomput 45, 341–364 (2008).

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  • Chip-multiprocessor
  • Power dissipation model
  • Microarchitectural level simulator
  • Heterogeneus on-chip interconnection network
  • Parallel scientific applications