Distributed on-chip switched-capacitor DC-DC converters supporting DVFS in multicore systems

Pingqiang Zhou, Ayan Paul, Chris H. Kim, Sachin S. Sapatnekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) is a powerful technique to reduce power consumption in a chip multiprocessor. To support DVFS in the multicore power delivery network, we integrate on-chip switched-capacitor (SC) dc-dc converters that can work with multiple conversion ratios to provide varying levels of Vdd supplies. We study the application of such SC converters in multicore chips by simulation. Our results show that distributed SC converters can significantly reduce the voltage droop seen by the local core loads by providing better localized power regulation. Considering the fact that the current distribution in a multicore chip is unbalanced, we further develop computer-aided design techniques to automate the design (size) and distribution (number and location) of these SC converters, using the efficiency of the whole power delivery system as the optimization metric. This is a major concern, but has not been addressed at the system level in prior research. We develop models for the power loss of such a system as a function of size and distribution of the SC converters, then propose an approach to optimize the SC converters to maximize the efficiency of the system, while considering all the possible conversion ratios an SC converter can work with. We verify the accuracy of our models for the power loss in the power delivery system, and demonstrate the efficiency of our techniques to optimize the SC converters on both homogenous and heterogenous multicore chips.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6609141
Pages (from-to)1954-1967
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Chip multiprocessor (CMP)
  • Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS)
  • Efficiency
  • MILP
  • On-chip switched-capacitor dc-dc converter

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