Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
Voltage droops resulting from inductive noise are common in state-of-the-art processors. Many of the techniques used to reduce energy consumption - clock gating, power gating, process shrinks, and voltage reduction - lead to increased voltage droops or increased sensitivity to voltage variations. Designers use voltage guardbands to minimize errors due to voltage fluctuations and inductive noise; however, this leads to lower performance because the voltage and frequency points are set to deal with voltage droops from a worst-case benchmark or stressmark. Although most applications do not approach the voltage droop caused by the stressmark, there is no mechanism to guarantee correct operation outside the tested range. In this paper, the authors examine floating-point issue throttling (FP throttling), a hardware technique that reduces worst-case voltage droop.