TRANSFERRING PERFORMANCE GAIN FROM SOFTWARE PREFETCHING TO ENERGY REDUCTION
Agarwal, Deepak N.
Pamnani, Sumitkumar N.
D. Agarwal, S. Pamnani, G. Qu, and D. Yeung. "Transferring Performance Gain from Software Prefetching to Energy Reduction," IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Vol. 2, pp. 241-244, May 2004.
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Performance-enhancement techniques improve CPU speed, but at higher cost to other valuable system resources such as power and energy. We study this trade-off using software prefetching as the system performance-enhancement technique. We first demonstrate software prefetching provides an average 36% performance boost with 8% more energy consumption and 69% higher power on six memory-intensive benchmarks. However, when we combine prefetching with a (unrealistic) static voltage scaling technique, the performance gain afforded by prefetching can be traded off for savings in power/energy consumption. In particular, we observe a 48% energy saving when we slow down the system with prefetching so as to match the performance of the system without prefetching. This suggests a promising approach to build low power systems by transforming traditional performance-enhancement techniques into low power methods. We thus propose a real time dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) algorithm that monitors a system’s performance and adapts the voltage level accordingly while maintaining the observed system performance. Our dynamic DVS algorithm achieves a 38% energy saving without any performance loss on our benchmark suite.