Cost-effective power delivery to support per-core voltage domains for power-constrained processors

Hamid Reza Ghasemi, Abhishek A. Sinkar, Michael J. Schulte, Nam Sung Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Per-core voltage domains can improve performance under a power constraint. Most commercial processors, however, only have one chip-wide voltage domain because splitting the voltage domain into per-core voltage domains and powering them with multiple off-chip voltage regulators (VRs) incurs a high cost for the platform and package designs. Although using on-chip switching VRs can be an alternative solution, integrating high-quality inductors and cores on the same chip has been a technical challenge. In this paper, we propose a cost-effective power delivery technique to support per-core voltage domains. Our technique is based on the observations that (i) core-to-core voltage variations are relatively small for most execution intervals when the voltages/frequencies are optimized to maximize performance under a power constraint and (ii) per-core power-gating devices augmented with small circuits can serve as low-cost VRs that can provide high efficiency in situations like (i). Our experimental results show that processors using our technique can achieve power efficiency as high as those using per-core on-chip switching VRs at much lower cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 7 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Other49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • multi-core processors
  • power delivery
  • voltage regulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


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