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Increasing performance, while at the same time reducing power consumption, is a major design tradeoff in current microprocessors. In this paper, the authors investigate the potential of using a heterogeneous clustered VLIW microarchitecture. In the proposed microarchitecture, each cluster, the interconnection network and the supporting memory hierarchy can run at different frequencies and voltages. Some of the clusters can then be configured to be performance-oriented and run at high frequency, while the other clusters can be configured to be low-power-oriented and run at lower frequencies, thus reducing overall consumption. For this heterogeneous design to be effective, they need to select the most suitable frequencies and voltages for each component.
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