Processors

Hardware Execution Throttling for Multi-Core Resource Management

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Executive Summary

Modern processors provide mechanisms (such as duty-cycle modulation and cache prefetcher adjustment) to control the execution speed or resource usage efficiency of an application. Although these mechanisms were originally designed for other purposes, the authors argue in this paper that they can be an effective tool to support fair use of shared on-chip resources on multi-cores. Compared to existing approaches to achieve fairness (such as page coloring and CPU scheduling quantum adjustment), the execution throttling mechanisms have the advantage of providing fine-grained control with little software system change or undesirable side effect. Additionally, although execution throttling slows down some of the running applications, it does not yield any loss of overall system efficiency as long as the bottleneck resources are fully utilized.

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