Characterizing and Evaluating Voltage Noise in Multi-Core Near-Threshold Processors

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Executive Summary

Lowering the supply voltage to improve energy efficiency leads to higher load current and elevated supply sensitivity. In this paper, the authors provide the first quantitative analysis of voltage noise in multi-core near-threshold processors in a future 10nm technology across SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks. Their results reveal larger guardband requirement and significant energy efficiency loss due to power delivery non-idealities at near threshold, and highlight the importance of accurate voltage noise characterization for design exploration of energy-centric computing systems using near-threshold cores.

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