Enabling On-Chip Switching Regulators for Multi-Core Processors using Current Staggering
Portable, embedded systems place ever-increasing demands on high-performance, low-power microprocessor design. Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) is a well-known technique to reduce energy in portable systems, but DVFS effectiveness suffers from the fact that voltage transitions occur on the order of tens of microseconds. Voltage regulators that are integrated on the same chip as the microprocessor core provide the benefit of both nanosecond-scale voltage switching and improved power delivery. However, the implementation of on-chip regulators presents many challenges including regulator efficiency and output voltage transient characteristics.