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AutoSub: Autonomous Voltage and Clock Frequency Scaling Using Sub-Threshold Operation and Task Sharing

Motivation and Background

With constant technology scaling, embedded computer systems, in particular on-chip systems (SoCs) are becoming increasingly parallel and distributed. The design and implementation of many-core SoCs are challenged by several essential issues. Among them, power constraints are of the primary concern for a wide range of embedded or energy-constrained applications. The design of power/energy-aware systems becomes trickier when the platform suffers from various types of variation and unpredictable occurrence of faults and errors.

Project Scope

Auto-sub project (Autonomous Voltage and Clock Frequency Scaling Using Sub-Threshold Operation and Task Sharing) focuses on algorithms, architectures and circuits to achieve maximum power/energy efficiency with an emphasis on sub-threshold operations. In particular, a library of common functional units (MAC, ALU, counter, etc.) will be built which support sub-threshold operation. At the level of architecture and algorithm, autonomous voltage and frequency scaling techniques will be analyzed to achieve adaptive power management. From the perspective of applications, program parallelization and task sharing methods are expected to fully expose the parallelism within the application.

Focus at Our Lab

Our lab, as one of the partners, is focused on the study of algorithm and architectural level methods and techniques for such energy-efficient VLSI systems. In particular, we are developing the "Hierarchical Agent Monitoring" design approach and architecture for many-core SoCs with on-chip network (NoC) as the underlying communication infrastructure. The design approach proposes a hierarchical monitoring structure for dynamic control and management services. The architecture is formally defined and mapped onto standard NoC-based systems. Specific monitoring services, in particular power monitoring, are under simulation with preliminary discussion on implementation issues. Our progress so far is captured by the papers in Publication.

Other Partners

Other partners in Helsinki include Electronic Circuit Design Laboratory (ECDL) of Helsinki University of Technology, VTT Micronova. Their research focus and current progress are presented in AutoSub.

In case of questions and comments, don't hesitate to contact us (contact of researchers involved in the project are listed in Members).