New Silicon Insider Article

Article: Escape From the Planet of x86
By: Nate Begeman (nbegeman.delete@this.umich.edu), June 18, 2003 2:25 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Bill Todd (billtodd@metrocast.net) on 6/18/03 wrote:
---------------------------
>However, that interesting .pdf (thanks for the pointer) does support my understanding
>that Madison indeed consumes 130 W at 1.3v (and 1.5 GHz). So how the power consumption
>could be halved by reducing the voltage only 15% and the frequency only 13% (to
>1.1v and 1.3 GHz, as you suggest below) remains unclear to me (though I don't have
>any problem believing that a 1 GHz part - possibly at even lower voltage - might halve the power requirement).

Yeah, half does seem a little optimistic. However, we know the 1.3GHz part has half the L3 cache, and cache leakage power is 7% of the 130W by itself. Going from the chart, and using the "chip power scales linearly with clock and as the square of voltage" approximations...

Take out ~5W for half the cache
125W * 1.3/1.5 = 108W
108W * 1.1^2/1.3^2 = 77W

We aren't at 65W (half power), but it's not all that far away, assuming the 1.3GHz chip uses a 1.1V source and the 1.5GHz chip uses the 1.3V source. I'm not sure that's a safe assumption to make, but 77W isn't too horrendous for the amount of performance that a 1.3GHz Itanium2 is likely to deliver. The only way that you could get those last 12W back is if somehow going to 1.1V from 1.3V *significantly* reduced leakage in the chip, on the order of what, about two thirds?
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