Date Added: Nov 2010
Due to limits in technology scaling, energy efficiency of logic devices is decreasing in successive generations. To provide continued performance improvements without increasing power, regardless of the sequential or parallel nature of the application, Microarchitectural energy efficiency must improve. The authors propose Dynamically Specialized Execution to improve the energy efficiency of general purpose programmable processors. The key insights of this work are the following. First, applications execute in phases and these phases can be determined by creating a path-tree of basic-blocks rooted at the inner-most loop. Second, specialized datapaths corresponding to these path-trees can be constructed by interconnecting a set of heterogeneous computation units with a circuit-switched network, which they refer to as DySER blocks. These blocks can be easily integrated with a conventional processor.