Publications by Year: 2008

Xiaoyao Liang, Ramon Canal, Gu Wei, and David Brooks. 1/2008. “Replacing 6t srams with 3t1d drams in the l1 data cache to combat process variability.” Micro, IEEE, 28, 1, Pp. 60–68. Publisher's VersionAbstract
With continued technology scaling, process variations will be especially detrimental to six-transistor static memory structures (6T SRAMs). A memory architecture using three-transistor, one-diode DRAM (3T1D) cells in the L1 data cache tolerates wide process variations with little performance degradation, making it a promising choice for on-chip cache structures for next-generation microprocessors.
Replacing 6t srams with 3t1d drams in the l1 data cache to combat process variability
Michael Lyons and David Brooks. 2008. “Application-Specific Hardware Design for Wireless Sensor Network Energy and Delay Reduction.” Workshop on Optimizations for DSP and Embedded Systems (ODES). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Battery-powered embedded systems, such as wireless sensor network (WSN) motes, require low energy usage to extend system lifetime. WSN motes must power sensors, a processor, and a radio for wireless communication over long periods of time, and are therefore particularly sensitive to energy use. Recent techniques for reducing WSN energy consumption, such as aggregation, require additional computation to reduce the cost of sending data by minimizing radio data transmissions. Larger demands on the processor will require more computational energy, but traditional energy reduction approaches, such as multi-core scaling with reduced frequency and voltage may prove heavy handed and ineffective for motes. Instead, application-specific hardware design (ASHD) architectures can reduce computational energy consumption by processing operations common to specific applications more efficiently than a general purpose processor. By the nature of their deeply embedded operation, motes support a limited set of applications, and thus the conventional general purpose computing paradigm may not be well-suited to mote operation. Both simple and complex operations can improve performance and use orders of magnitude less energy with application-specific hardware. This paper examines the design considerations of a hardware accelerator for compressed Bloom filters, a data structure for efficiently storing set membership. Additionally, we evaluate our ASHD design for three representative wireless sensor network applications: monitoring network-wide mote status, object tracking, and on-mote duplicate packet filtering. We demonstrate that ASHD design reduces network latency by 59% and computational energy by 98%, and show the need for architecting processors for ASHD accelerators. 
Xiaoyao Liang, Benjamin Lee, Gu Wei, and David Brooks. 2008. “Design and Test Strategies for Microarchitectural PostFabrication”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Process variations are a major hurdle for continued technology scaling. Both systematic and random variations will affect the critical delay of fabricated chips, causing a wide frequency and power distribution. Tuning techniques adapt the microarchitecture to mitigate the impact of variations at post-fabrication testing time. This paper proposes a new post-fabrication testing framework that accounts for testing costs. This framework uses on-chip canary circuits to capture systematic variation while using statistical analysis to estimate random variation. We derive regression models to predict chip performance and power. These techniques comprise an integrated framework that identifies the most energy efficient post-fabrication tuning configuration for each chip.

Design and Test Strategies for Microarchitectural PostFabrication