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The most recent, and arguably one of the most difficult obstacles to the exponential growth in transistor density predicted by Moore's Law is that of removing the large amount of heat generated within the tiny area of a microprocessor. The exponential increase in power density and its direct relation to on-chip temperature have, in recent processors, led to very high cooling costs. Since temperature also has an exponential effect on lifetime reliability and leakage power, it has become a first-class design constraint in microprocessor development akin to performance. This dissertation describes work to address the temperature challenge from the perspective of the architecture of the microprocessor.
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