University of Vigo
Near-threshold operation can increase the number of simultaneously active cores, at the expense of much lower operating frequency (\"Dim silicon\"), but dim cores suffer from diminishing returns as the number of cores increases. At this point, hardware accelerators become more efficient alternatives. To explore such a broad design space, the authors present an analytical model to quantify the performance limits of many-core, heterogeneous systems operating at near-threshold voltage. The model augments Amdahl's Law with detailed scaling of frequency and power, calibrated by circuit-level simulations using a modified Predictive Technology Model (PTM), and factors in effects of process variations.