Tecniche per il controllo dinamico del consumo di potenza per piattaforme system-on-chip

Ruggiero, Martino (2008) Tecniche per il controllo dinamico del consumo di potenza per piattaforme system-on-chip, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, informatica e delle telecomunicazioni, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/921.
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Providing support for multimedia applications on low-power mobile devices remains a significant research challenge. This is primarily due to two reasons: • Portable mobile devices have modest sizes and weights, and therefore inadequate resources, low CPU processing power, reduced display capabilities, limited memory and battery lifetimes as compared to desktop and laptop systems. • On the other hand, multimedia applications tend to have distinctive QoS and processing requirementswhichmake themextremely resource-demanding. This innate conflict introduces key research challenges in the design of multimedia applications and device-level power optimization. Energy efficiency in this kind of platforms can be achieved only via a synergistic hardware and software approach. In fact, while System-on-Chips are more and more programmable thus providing functional flexibility, hardwareonly power reduction techniques cannot maintain consumption under acceptable bounds. It is well understood both in research and industry that system configuration andmanagement cannot be controlled efficiently only relying on low-level firmware and hardware drivers. In fact, at this level there is lack of information about user application activity and consequently about the impact of power management decision on QoS. Even though operating system support and integration is a requirement for effective performance and energy management, more effective and QoSsensitive power management is possible if power awareness and hardware configuration control strategies are tightly integratedwith domain-specificmiddleware services. The main objective of this PhD research has been the exploration and the integration of amiddleware-centric energymanagement with applications and operating-system. We choose to focus on the CPU-memory and the video subsystems, since they are the most power-hungry components of an embedded system. A second main objective has been the definition and implementation of software facilities (like toolkits, API, and run-time engines) in order to improve programmability and performance efficiency of such platforms. Enhancing energy efficiency and programmability ofmodernMulti-Processor System-on-Chips (MPSoCs) Consumer applications are characterized by tight time-to-market constraints and extreme cost sensitivity. The software that runs on modern embedded systems must be high performance, real time, and even more important low power. Although much progress has been made on these problems, much remains to be done. Multi-processor System-on-Chip (MPSoC) are increasingly popular platforms for high performance embedded applications. This leads to interesting challenges in software development since efficient software development is a major issue for MPSoc designers. An important step in deploying applications on multiprocessors is to allocate and schedule concurrent tasks to the processing and communication resources of the platform. The problem of allocating and scheduling precedenceconstrained tasks on processors in a distributed real-time system is NP-hard. There is a clear need for deployment technology that addresses thesemulti processing issues. This problem can be tackled by means of specific middleware which takes care of allocating and scheduling tasks on the different processing elements and which tries also to optimize the power consumption of the entire multiprocessor platform. This dissertation is an attempt to develop insight into efficient, flexible and optimalmethods for allocating and scheduling concurrent applications tomultiprocessor architectures. It is a well-known problem in literature: this kind of optimization problems are very complex even in much simplified variants, therefore most authors propose simplified models and heuristic approaches to solve it in reasonable time. Model simplification is often achieved by abstracting away platform implementation ”details”. As a result, optimization problems become more tractable, even reaching polynomial time complexity. Unfortunately, this approach creates an abstraction gap between the optimization model and the real HW-SW platform. The main issue with heuristic or, more in general, with incomplete search is that they introduce an optimality gap of unknown size. They provide very limited or no information on the distance between the best computed solution and the optimal one. The goal of this work is to address both abstraction and optimality gaps, formulating accurate models which accounts for a number of ”non-idealities” in real-life hardware platforms, developing novel mapping algorithms that deterministically find optimal solutions, and implementing software infrastructures required by developers to deploy applications for the targetMPSoC platforms. Energy Efficient LCDBacklightAutoregulation on Real-LifeMultimediaAp- plication Processor Despite the ever increasing advances in Liquid Crystal Display’s (LCD) technology, their power consumption is still one of the major limitations to the battery life of mobile appliances such as smart phones, portable media players, gaming and navigation devices. There is a clear trend towards the increase of LCD size to exploit the multimedia capabilities of portable devices that can receive and render high definition video and pictures. Multimedia applications running on these devices require LCD screen sizes of 2.2 to 3.5 inches andmore to display video sequences and pictures with the required quality. LCD power consumption is dependent on the backlight and pixel matrix driving circuits and is typically proportional to the panel area. As a result, the contribution is also likely to be considerable in future mobile appliances. To address this issue, companies are proposing low power technologies suitable for mobile applications supporting low power states and image control techniques. On the research side, several power saving schemes and algorithms can be found in literature. Some of them exploit software-only techniques to change the image content to reduce the power associated with the crystal polarization, some others are aimed at decreasing the backlight level while compensating the luminance reduction by compensating the user perceived quality degradation using pixel-by-pixel image processing algorithms. The major limitation of these techniques is that they rely on the CPU to perform pixel-based manipulations and their impact on CPU utilization and power consumption has not been assessed. This PhDdissertation shows an alternative approach that exploits in a smart and efficient way the hardware image processing unit almost integrated in every current multimedia application processors to implement a hardware assisted image compensation that allows dynamic scaling of the backlight with a negligible impact on QoS. The proposed approach overcomes CPU-intensive techniques by saving system power without requiring either a dedicated display technology or hardware modification. Thesis Overview The remainder of the thesis is organized as follows. The first part is focused on enhancing energy efficiency and programmability of modern Multi-Processor System-on-Chips (MPSoCs). Chapter 2 gives an overview about architectural trends in embedded systems, illustrating the principal features of new technologies and the key challenges still open. Chapter 3 presents a QoS-driven methodology for optimal allocation and frequency selection for MPSoCs. The methodology is based on functional simulation and full system power estimation. Chapter 4 targets allocation and scheduling of pipelined stream-oriented applications on top of distributed memory architectures with messaging support. We tackled the complexity of the problem by means of decomposition and no-good generation, and prove the increased computational efficiency of this approach with respect to traditional ones. Chapter 5 presents a cooperative framework to solve the allocation, scheduling and voltage/frequency selection problem to optimality for energyefficient MPSoCs, while in Chapter 6 applications with conditional task graph are taken into account. Finally Chapter 7 proposes a complete framework, called Cellflow, to help programmers in efficient software implementation on a real architecture, the Cell Broadband Engine processor. The second part is focused on energy efficient software techniques for LCD displays. Chapter 8 gives an overview about portable device display technologies, illustrating the principal features of LCD video systems and the key challenges still open. Chapter 9 shows several energy efficient software techniques present in literature, while Chapter 10 illustrates in details our method for saving significant power in an LCD panel. Finally, conclusions are drawn, reporting the main research contributions that have been discussed throughout this dissertation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ruggiero, Martino
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
soc low power
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2008

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