Performance, Energy, and Thermal Considerations for SMT and CMP Architectures

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Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) and Chip Multi-Processing (CMP) both allow a chip to achieve greater throughput, but their relative energy-efficiency and thermal properties are still poorly understood. In this paper, the authors use Turandot, PowerTimer, and HotSpot to explore this design space for a POWER4/POWER5-like core. For an equal-area comparison with this style of core, they find CMP to be superior in terms of performance and energy-efficiency for CPU-bound benchmarks, but SMT to be superior for memory-bound benchmarks due to a larger L2 cache.