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Title:Recovery-driven design: Exploiting error resilience in design of energy-efficient processors
Author(s):Sartori, John M.
Advisor(s):Kumar, Rakesh
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):recovery-driven design
energy efficiency
error resilience
Abstract:Conventional CAD methodologies optimize a processor module for correct operation and prohibit timing violations during nominal operation. We propose recovery-driven design, a design approach that optimizes a processor module for a target timing error rate instead of correct operation. The target error rate is chosen based on how many errors can be gainfully tolerated by a hardware or software error resilience mechanism. We show that significant power bene ts are possible from a recovery-driven design approach that deliberately allows errors caused by voltage overscaling to occur during nominal operation, while relying on an error resilience technique to tolerate these errors. We present a detailed evaluation and analysis of such a design-level methodology that minimizes the power of a processor module for a target error rate. We show how this design-level methodology can be extended to design recovery-driven processors -- processors that are optimized to take advantage of hardware or software error resilience. These may be single-core processors or heterogeneously-reliable multi-core processors, in which individual cores are optimized for different reliability targets. We also discuss a gradual slack recovery-driven design approach that optimizes for a range of error rates to create soft processors -- processors that have graceful failure characteristics and the ability to trade throughput or output quality for additional energy savings over a range of error rates. We demonstrate significant power benefits over conventional design -- 11.8% on average over all modules and error rate targets, and up to 29.1% for individual modules. Processor- level benefits are 19.0%, on average. Benefits increase when recovery-driven design is coupled with an error resilience mechanism or when the number of available voltage domains increases.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 John M. Sartori
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:December 2

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