Cool Chips Tutorial*


An Industrial Perspective on Low Power Processor Design

Trevor Mudge, Univ. of Michigan††† Srilatha Manne, Alpha Dev. Group†††

Dirk Grunwald, University of Colorado, Boulder

 In recent years, power reduction has become a critical design goal for many microprocessors due to portability and reliability requirements. Most of the power savings is achieved through supply voltage reduction and process shrinks. However, there is a limit to how far the supply voltages may be reduced, and the power dissipated on chip is increasing even as process technology improves. Hence, solutions must be found which reduce power at all levels of the design process.

The Power-Driven Microarchitecture Workshop held at ISCA98 in Barcelona, Spain helped raise the awareness of the architecture community with reference to concerns about power issues. The workshop brought together members of industry and academia to explore architectural and compiler modifications for power reduction. It had over 25 papers and 50 registered attendees, and covered topics such as power estimation, architectural modifications for power, reliability issues, compiler techniques for power reduction, and voltage scaling.

This year, the goal remains the same as that of the Power-Driven Microarchitecture Workshop, although the approach is different. Our goal is to disseminate knowledge about low power microprocessor design to the architecture community. To this end, we have assembled a group of speakers from leading microprocessor companies to give presentations on what they consider to be their critical low power issues now and in the future, and some possible solutions to these problems.

The Cool Chips Tutorial will consist of invited speakers who will provide insight into what power issues constitute a problem for their application market. The invited speakers will be from the DSP, embedded and general-purpose processor companies.


The proceedings contain the speakerís bios and their presentations. The material in the proceedings is freely available. However,

please cite the conference (MICRO32), tutorial (Cool Chips), and the authors/editors when using any material from the proceedings.



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*Note this tutorial is not related to the COOL Chips III Symposium that will be held in Japan next spring.

Organizing Committee Chair: Tadao Nakamura

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