Snatch: Opportunistically reassigning power allocation between processor and memory in 3D stacks

Dimitrios Skarlatos, Renji Thomas, Aditya Agrawal, Shibin Qin, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, Ulya R. Karpuzcu, Radu Teodorescu, Nam Sung Kim, Josep Torrellas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The pin count largely determines the cost of a chip package, which is often comparable to the cost of a die. In 3D processor-memory designs, power and ground (P/G) pins can account for the majority of the pins. This is because packages include separate pins for the disjoint processor and memory power delivery networks (PDNs). Supporting separate PDNs and P/G pins for processor and memory is inefficient, as each set has to be provisioned for the worst-case power delivery requirements. In this paper, we propose to reduce the number of P/G pins of both processor and memory in a 3D design, and dynamically and opportunistically divert some power between the two PDNs on demand. To perform the power transfer, we use a small bidirectional on-chip voltage regulator that connects the two PDNs. Our concept, called Snatch, is effective. It allows the computer to execute code sections with high processor or memory power requirements without having to throttle performance. We evaluate Snatch with simulations of an 8-core multicore stacked with two memory dies. In a set of compute-intensive codes, the processor snatches memory power for 30% of the time on average, speeding-up the codes by up to 23% over advanced turbo-boosting; in memory-intensive codes, the memory snatches processor power. Alternatively, Snatch can reduce the package cost by about 30%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMICRO 2016 - 49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781509035083
StatePublished - Dec 14 2016
Event49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2016 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Oct 15 2016Oct 19 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO
ISSN (Print)1072-4451


Other49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2016
CountryTaiwan, Province of China

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NSF under grants CCF-1012759, CNS-1116237, CCF-1536795, CCF-1421988, and CCF-1253933; DARPA under PERFECT Contract Number HR0011-12-2-0019; and Samsung Electronics under contract 2016-03835.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Snatch: Opportunistically reassigning power allocation between processor and memory in 3D stacks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this