Xiaoyao Liang, NVIDIA, USA


AgileRegulator: A hybrid voltage regulator scheme redeeming dark silicon for power efficiency in a multicore architecture


The widening gap between the fast-increasing transistor budget but slow-growing power delivery and system cooling capability calls for novel architectural solutions to boost energy efficiency. Leveraging the fact of surging “dark silicon” area, we propose a hybrid scheme to use both on-chip and off-chip voltage regulators, called “AgileRegulator”, for a multicore system to explore both coarse-grain and fine-grain power phases. We present two complementary algorithms: Sensitivity-Aware Application Scheduling (SAAS) and Responsiveness-Aware Application Scheduling (RAAS) to maximally achieve the energy saving potential of the hybrid regulator scheme. Experimental results show that the hybrid scheme achieves performance-energy efficiency close to per-core DVFS, without imposing much design cost. Meanwhile, the silicon overhead of this scheme is well contained into the “dark silicon”. Unlike other application specific schemes based on accelerators, the proposed scheme itself is a simple and universal solution for chip area and energy trade-offs.


Xiaoyao Liang is a full professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. He graduated with Ph.D from Harvard University and had ample industry experience working at NVIDIA, INTEL and IBM. He has published more than 30 papers at top international conferences including ISCA, MICRO, HPCA, ISSCC and ICCAD. Two of his papers were selected into IEEE MICRO TOP PICKS, awarded annually to 10 most outstanding research papers in computer architecture. He serves as PC member of HPCA 2013, HiPC 2010-2012 and session chair of ICCD 2009. His research interests include computer architecture, GPGPU design , software and hardware co-design for mobile and cloud computing.

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