Process Variation Characterization of Chip-Level Multiprocessors

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Executive Summary

Within-die variation in leakage power consumption is substantial and increasing for Chip-level Multi-Processors (CMPs) and multiprocessor systems-on-chip. Dealing with this problem via conservative assumptions is sub-optimal. Instead, operating systems may adapt task assignment and power management decisions to the variable characteristics of cores, improving system-wide power consumption and performance. Researchers have proposed such adaptation techniques. However, they rely on knowledge of CMP Process Variation (PV) maps. These maps are not provided by processor vendors, providing them would impose additional cost during the testing process, and static maps would not permit adaptation to aging effects.

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