A self-tuning design methodology for power-efficient multi-core systems

Jin Sun, Rui Zheng, Jyothi Velamala, Yu Cao, Roman Lysecky, Karthik Shankar, Janet Roveda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article aims to achieve computational reliability and energy efficiency through codevelopment of algorithms, device, and circuit designs for application-specific, reconfigurable architectures. The new methodology characterizes aging-switching activity and aging-supply voltage relationships that are applicable for minimizing power consumption and task execution efficiency in order to achieve low bit energy ratio (BER). In addition, a new dynamic management algorithm (DMA) is proposed to alleviate device degradation and to extend system lifespan. In contrast to traditional workload balancing schemes in which cores are regarded as homogeneous, the new algorithm ranks cores as 'highly competitive,' 'less competitive,' and 'not competitive' according to their various competitiveness. Core competitiveness is evaluated based upon their reliability, temperature, and timing requirements. Consequently, 'competitive' cores will take charge of the majority of the tasks at relatively high voltage/frequency without violating power and timing budgets, while 'not competitive' cores will have light workloads to ensure their reliability. The new approach combines intrinsic device characteristics (aging-switching activity and aging-supply voltage curves) into an integrated framework to achieve high reliability and low energy level with graceful degradation of system performance. Experimental results show that the proposed method has achieved up to 20% power reduction, with about 4% performance degradation (in terms of accomplished workload and system throughput), compared with traditional workload balancing methods. The new method also improves system mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) by up to 25%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Competitive index
  • Dynamic management algorithm
  • Multi-core systems
  • Negative bias temperature instability
  • Self-tuning design


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