Date Added: Dec 2009
With continued advances in CMOS technology, parameter variations are emerging as a major design challenge. Irregularities during the fabrication of a microprocessor and variations of voltage and temperature during its operation widen worst-case timing margins of the design - degrading performance significantly. Because run-time variations like supply voltage droops and temperature fluctuations depend on the activity signature of the processor's workload, there are several opportunities to improve performance by dynamically adapting margins. This paper explores the power-performance efficiency gains that result from designing for typical conditions while dynamically tuning frequency and voltage to accommodate the run-time behavior of workloads.