Challenges and Opportunities for Extremely Energy-Efficient Processors

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Executive Summary

Here, the author make the case for improving the energy efficiency of processors suitable for data centers by operating the cores and caches at dramatically lower voltages - that is, at near threshold. Apart from dramatically reducing core and cache power, lowering core power has a multiplier effect that simplifies the use of other technologies. This, in turn, can significantly affect overall system power consumption. In particular, it simplifies 3D die stacking because of the reduced Thermal Design Point (TDP). In addition, another source of energy savings, nonvolatile memory easily integrates into the stack to remove the need for local disks.

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