Compiler-directed energy reduction using dynamic voltage scaling and voltage islands for embedded systems
Addressing power and energy consumption related issues early in the system design flow ensures good design and minimizes iterations for faster turnaround time. In particular, optimizations at software level, e.g., those supported by compilers, are very important for minimizing energy consumption of embedded applications. Recent research demonstrates that voltage islands provide the flexibility to reduce power by selectively shutting down the different regions of the chip and/or running the select parts of the chip at different voltage/frequency levels. As against most of the prior work on voltage islands that mainly focused on the architecture design and IP placement related issues, this paper studies the necessary software compiler support for voltage islands. Specifically, we focus on an embedded multiprocessor architecture that supports both voltage islands and control domains within these islands, and determine how an optimizing compiler can automatically map an embedded application onto this architecture. Such an automated support is critical since it is unrealistic to expect an application programmer to reach a good mapping correlating multiple factors such as performance and energy at the same time. Our experiments with the proposed compiler support show that our approach is very effective in reducing energy consumption. The experiments also show that the energy savings we achieve are consistent across a wide range of values of our major simulation parameters. © 1968-2012 IEEE.