Work scheduling for moderating power

Article: Power Delivery in a Modern Processor
By: David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com), May 12, 2020 10:40 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Paul A. Clayton (paaronclayton.delete@this.gmail.com) on May 12, 2020 10:15 am wrote:
> Concerning handling voltage droop, besides lowering frequency, it seems one could also exploit the fact
> that common case timing typically is less tight than worst case. This would require some kind of validity
> checking and replay but might provide another knob to handle voltage droop.

There is some work from Michigan and ARM on this, the project was called Razor. The idea used replay.

Changes that reduce the power
> draw for doing the work at the cost of higher energy or more total work might also be possible. Forms
> of speculation that trade short term energy use for longer term energy savings (or performance) might
> be throttled, losing overall efficiency/performance but moderating short term power use.

The problem is that to handle the biggest droop, you need to respond almost instanteously.

> Even for in-order processors, the execution width could be adjusted to moderate power draw; this has
> been used for thermal throttling, but it might apply to power supply issues.

Yes, I believe Itanium might have used this for the McKinley-era designs.

For out-of-order processors,
> there may be more opportunities for scheduling flexibility to temporarily reduce power use. Some load
> operations (and other high-energy operations) are not as latency sensitive and could be delayed a cycle
> or two with little performance impact. (While instruction commit does not use that much energy, delaying
> commit may have little performance impact when buffers are not nearly full.)

The problem is how do I detect the droop, and then signal the control logic to alter its behavior within 1-2 cycles?


> It seems that prediction and awareness of the fullness of capacitors could be used to narrow
> the timing gap of voltage regulation. E.g., predicting that a phase of high memory activity is
> near could motivate an increase in the power delivery.

Predicting higher power usage and then boosting voltage a little is a valid approach!

> When a prediction of increased activity
> is wrong, it might even be useful to perform less useful or urgent work (e.g., more speculative
> prefetching, eager writebacks, ECC scrubbing) to exploit the temporarily low scarcity of power.
> (Work buffering/scheduling would seem to cooperate with energy buffering/scheduling.)
>
> Side questions: Do upper layer MIM capacitors also provide a little thermal buffering and heat >spreading?

I'm not sure.

> Could the extra step (expense) of a MIM layer be skipped on a per wafer basis (e.g., if early testing
> indicates most parts on a wafer would test into SKUs that do not require the extra power decoupling)?

Probably not.

> (I could see this being impractical. The design might not be amenable to such a change even if the extra
> decoupling is not especially useful for some SKUs. The production system might be so well optimized that
> it is cheaper to do the extra step than to introduce more complex scheduling of stages and more extensive
> buffering. The early detection of wafer-scale SKU probabilities may be impractical.)

David

< Previous Post in ThreadNext Post in Thread >
TopicPosted ByDate
New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorDavid Kanter2020/05/11 07:37 AM
  New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorMaynard Handley2020/05/11 10:03 AM
    Buried power rails, super vias, etc.David Kanter2020/05/11 11:44 AM
      Buried power rails, super vias, etc.Maynard Handley2020/05/11 06:06 PM
  InductorsMoritz2020/05/11 12:01 PM
    InductorsDavid Kanter2020/05/11 12:36 PM
  New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorTravis Downs2020/05/12 07:53 AM
    New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorJason Creighton2020/05/12 09:15 AM
      New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorDan Fay2020/05/12 09:35 AM
        New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorJason Creighton2020/05/13 09:09 AM
          New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorRicardo B2020/05/13 11:47 PM
            New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorMichael S2020/05/14 12:29 PM
              New article: Power Delivery in a Modern Processoranon³2020/05/14 05:22 PM
              New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorRicardo B2020/05/15 05:06 AM
                New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorMichael S2020/05/15 05:13 AM
      New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorTravis Downs2020/05/13 03:01 PM
    LDO power savingDavid Kanter2020/05/12 10:16 AM
      LDO power savingYoav2020/05/13 03:56 AM
        LDO power savingTravis Downs2020/05/13 06:44 AM
          LDO power savingDan Fay2020/05/13 07:03 AM
            LDO power savingTravis Downs2020/05/13 03:02 PM
              LDO power savingRicardo B2020/05/14 12:08 AM
    Asynchronous CPU?dmcq2020/05/12 01:05 PM
      Hindered by device testing and design validationPaul A. Clayton2020/05/12 02:13 PM
        Hindered by device testing and design validationMark Roulo2020/05/13 08:22 AM
          Hindered by device testing and design validationAnon32020/05/14 07:06 AM
  Work scheduling for moderating powerPaul A. Clayton2020/05/12 10:15 AM
    Work scheduling for moderating powerDavid Kanter2020/05/12 10:40 AM
      Work scheduling for moderating powerPaul A. Clayton2020/05/14 09:27 AM
    Work scheduling for moderating powerTravis Downs2020/05/12 01:25 PM
      That is certain one real world example (NT)Paul A. Clayton2020/05/14 09:28 AM
  New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorDanjel McGougan2020/05/13 06:52 AM
    New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorTravis Downs2020/05/13 03:07 PM
      New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorRob Thorpe2020/05/15 06:36 PM
        New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorRicardo B2020/05/15 10:31 PM
  Bypassing capacitors & testingRob Thorpe2020/05/15 06:54 PM
  New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorRicardo B2020/05/15 10:22 PM
    New article: Power Delivery in a Modern ProcessorDavid Kanter2020/05/16 09:03 AM
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