Microarchitecture parameter selection to optimize system performance under process variation


Xiaoyao Liang and David Brooks. 11/5/2006. “Microarchitecture parameter selection to optimize system performance under process variation.” In Computer-Aided Design, 11/5/2006. ICCAD'06. IEEE/ACM International Conference on, Pp. 429–436. IEEE. Publisher's Version


Design variability due to within-die and die-to-die process variations has the potential to significantly reduce the maximum operating frequency and the effective yield of high-performance microprocessors in future process technology generations. This variability manifests itself by increasing the number and criticality of long delay paths. To quantify this impact, we use an architectural process variation model that is appropriate for the analysis of system performance in the early-stages of the design process. We propose a method of selecting microarchitectural parameters to mitigate the frequency impact due to process variability for distinct structures, while minimizing IPC (instructions-per-cycle) loss. We propose an optimization procedure to be used for system-level design decisions, and we find that joint architecture and statistical timing analysis can be more advantageous than pure circuit level optimization. Overall, the technique can improve the 90% yield frequency by about 14% with 3% IPC loss for a baseline machine with a 20FO4 logic depth per pipestage. This approach is sensitive to the selection of processor pipeline depth, and we demonstrate that machines with aggressive pipelines will experience greater challenges in coping with process variability.

Last updated on 05/03/2022