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Slides online: Fadi Kurdahi (University of California)

November 23, 2011 12:6

The Cross-Layer Multi-Dimensional Design Space of Power, Reliability, Temperature and Voltage in Highly Scaled Geometries This talk addresses this notion of error-awareness across multiple abstraction layers – application, architectural platform, and technology – for next generation SoCs. The intent is to allow exploration and evaluation of a large, previously invisible design space exhibiting a wide range of power, performance, and cost attributes. To achieve this one must synergistically bring together expertise at each abstraction layer: in communication/multimedia applications, SoC architectural platforms, and advanced circuits/technology, in order to allow effective co-design across these abstraction layers. As an example, one may investigate methods to achieve acceptable QoS at different abstraction levels as a result of intentionally allowing errors to occur inside the hardware with the aim of trading that off for lower power, higher performance and/ or lower cost. Such approaches must be validated and tested in real applications. An ideal context for the convergence of such applications are handheld multimedia communication devices in which a WCDMA modem and an H.264 encoder must co-exist, potentially with other applications such as imaging. These applications have a wide scope, execute in highly dynamic environments and present interesting opportunities for tradeoff analysis and optimization. We also demonstrate how error awareness can be exploited at the architectural platform layer through the implementation of error tolerant caches that can operate at very low supply voltage.

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