Design Space Exploration of High-Performance Parallel Architectures
Keywords:Parallel Architectures, Multi-core, Many-core, Processor Power Consumption
High-performance single-threaded processors achieve their performance goal partly by relying, among other architectural techniques, on speculation and large on-chip caches. The hardware to support these techniques is usually a large portion of the overall processor real state area, and therefore it consumes a significant amount of power that sometimes is not optimally used toward doing useful work. In this work, we study the intuitive fact that architectures with hardware support for threads are more power efficient than a more traditional single-threaded superscalar architecture. Toward this goal, we have created a model of the power, performance and area of several parallel architectures. This model shows that a parallel architecture can be designed so that (a) it requires less area and power (to reach the same performance), or (b) it achieves better power efficiency and less area (for the same power budget), or (c) it has higher performance and better power efficiency (for the same area constraint), when compared to a single-threaded superscalar architecture.