Exploiting algorithmic noise tolerance for scalable on-chip voltage regulation

Longfei Wang, S. Karen Khatamifard, Ulya R. Karpuzcu, Selcuk Kose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


With the advent of on-chip digital low-dropout (DLDO) regulators, distributed on-chip voltage regulation has become increasingly promising. Environmental and operating conditions have been demonstrated to degrade DLDO performance, which directly affects execution accuracy. The area overhead (OH) needed to compensate aging-induced voltage noise degradation can be significant. Accordingly, in this paper, the algorithmic noise tolerance of certain processor components is exploited as an area-quality control knob to trade the program output quality for area OH. Furthermore, efficient and lightweight techniques utilizing a unidirectional shift register and reduced clock pulsewidth triggering are proposed to realize a novel aging-aware (AA) DLDO to achieve a better area and quality tradeoff. Owing to the large number and distributed nature of voltage regulators, with the proposed design, both the number of regulators utilized in the system and the size of each local regulator are scalable to satisfy the needs of different applications and processor components with varying algorithmic noise tolerance. It is demonstrated through simulation of an IBM POWER8 like processor that the proposed AA design can achieve up to, respectively, 43.2% and 3 × transient and steady-state performance improvement. Additionally, more than 10% area OH saving can be achieved over a 5-year period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8528543
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

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  • Algorithmic noise tolerance
  • digital low-dropout (DLDO) regulator
  • reliability
  • scalable on-chip voltage regulation
  • voltage noise


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