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A Study on the Performance and Power Benefits of Core Morphing in a Heterogeneous Multicore Processor

Title: A Study on the Performance and Power Benefits of Core Morphing in a Heterogeneous Multicore Processor

Speaker: Israel Koren, Professor of ECE, Umass Amherst

Time: 10:00am, May 10, 2012

Meeting Room: FIT 1-415

Abstract: Multicore architectures are designed so as to provide an acceptable level of performance per power for the majority of applications. Consequently, we must occasionally expect applications that could have benefited from a more powerful core in terms of either lower execution time and/or lower energy consumed. Fusing some of the resources of two (or more) cores to configure a more powerful core for such instances is a natural approach to deal with those few applications that have very high performance demands. However, a recent study has shown that fusing two homogeneous cores is unlikely to benefit applications. In this talk we describe a study of the potential performance and power benefits of core morphing in a heterogeneous multicore processor. We consider as an example a dual core processor with one of the two cores being designed to target integer intensive applications while the other is better suited to floating-point intensive applications. These two cores can be fused into a single powerful core when an application that can benefit from such fusion is executing. We discuss the design principles of the two individual cores and show that a small subset of the considered applications can greatly benefit from core morphing even in the case where two applications that could have been executed in parallel on the two cores are run, for some percentage of time, on the single morphed core.