Ultralow-power embedded systems have recently started the move to multicore designs. Aggressive voltage scaling techniques have the potential to reduce the power consumption within the admitted envelope, but memory operations on standard six-transistor static RAM (6T-SRAM) cells become unreliable at low voltages. While standard cell memory (SCM) overcomes this limitation, it has much lower area density than SRAM, and thus it is too costly. On the other hand, several applications have inherent tolerance to computation errors, and executing such workloads with approximation has already proven a viable way to reduce energy consumption. In this paper, we propose a novel HW/SW approach to design energy-efficient ultralow-power systems which combine the key ideas of approximate computing and hybrid memory systems featuring both SCM and 6T-SRAM. We introduce a novel hardware support to split error-tolerant data so to host most significant bits in the SCM and least significant bits (LSBs) in the 6T-SRAM. This allows to power the memory system at a low voltage while ensuring correct operation by binding possible (flip-bit) errors to the LSBs only. In addition, by organizing 6T-SRAM banks into multiple and independent voltage domains we enable fine-grained, software-controlled voltage switching policies. At the software level, we propose language constructs to specify what regions of code and what variables are tolerant to approximation, plus compiler support to optimize data placement. Experimental results show that our proposal can reduce the energy consumption of the memory system by 47% on average, always complying with the result accuracy required by practical applications constraints.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Titolo:||Synergistic HW/SW Approximation Techniques for Ultralow-Power Parallel Computing|
|Autore/i:||Tagliavini, Giuseppe; Rossi, Davide; Marongiu, Andrea; Benini, Luca|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1109/TCAD.2016.2633474|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000430707000006|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85045999696|
|Citazione:||Synergistic HW/SW Approximation Techniques for Ultralow-Power Parallel Computing / Tagliavini, Giuseppe; Rossi, Davide; Marongiu, Andrea; Benini, Luca. - In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS. - ISSN 0278-0070. - ELETTRONICO. - 37:5(2018), pp. 982-995.|
|Tipologia||Articolo su rivista|
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