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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2007

Decoupled Thermal Simulation


Small transistors and high clock frequency have resulted in high power density, which makes temperature a strong constraint in today's microprocessor design. For maximizing performance, the thermal design power must be set according to average, instead of worst case, conditions. Consequently, current processors feature temperature sensors and throt-tling mechanisms to keep the chip temperature at a safe level. To study future thermally-constrained processors and systems, researchers and engineers use cycle-accurate performance simulators modeling power consumption and temperature. Cycle-accurate simulators are relatively slow and make it difficult to study long-term thermal behaviors that may require to simulate several minutes or even hours of processor execution. Sampling or phase analysis cannot be applied directly in this case because temperature depends on all past energy events. We propose a partial solution to this problem, which consists in decoupling cycle-accurate simulations and thermal ones. Temperature-unaware cycle-accurate simulation is used to generate an energy trace representing the complete execution of an application. Phase analysis can be used to decrease the trace generation time and make compact traces. Temperature and thermal-throttling are simulated in a separate thermal simulator that reads energy traces. The thermal simulator is faster than the cycle-accurate one and can be used to explore, with the same energy trace, parameters that are not modeled in cycle-accurate simulation.
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Dates and versions

inria-00192779 , version 1 (29-11-2007)


  • HAL Id : inria-00192779 , version 1


Surendra Guntur, Pierre Michaud. Decoupled Thermal Simulation. [Research Report] PI 1871, 2007, pp.31. ⟨inria-00192779⟩
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