Heterogeneous Multi-cores in the Dark Silicon Era
November 4, 2013
Moore's Law enables continued increase in the number of cores on chip; but power and thermal limits imply that a significant fraction of these cores have to be left unpowered --- or dark --- at any point in time. This phenomenon, known as dark silicon, is driving the emergence of heterogeneous/asymmetric computing platforms consisting of cores with diverse power-performance characteristics enabling better match between the application requirements and the compute engine leading to substantially improved energy-efficiency. In this talk, we present the challenges and opportunities offered by static and adaptive heterogeneous multi-cores towards low-power, high-performance mobile computing. For static asymmetric multi-cores, we present a comprehensive power management framework that can provide high performance while minimizing energy consumption within the thermal design power budget. We then describe an adaptive heterogeneous multi-core architecture, called Bahurupi, that can be tailored according to the application by software. Bahurupi is designed and fabricated as a homogeneous multi-core system containing identical simple cores. Post-fabrication, software can configure or compose together the primitive cores to create a heterogeneous multi-core that best matches the needs of the currently executing application.
Tulika Mitra is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing at National University of Singapore. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her research interest focuses on design automation of real-time embedded systems, in particular, application-specific processor design, software timing analysis, and energy-efficient computing. She has published over hundred peer-reviewed articles in this domain. Tulika serves in the program committee of several leading conferences in the design automation and embedded systems area.