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Colloquium - Brooks

Power-Aware Computing: New Challenges for the Computer Architect
Princeton University

The field of computer architecture has recently seen a rapidly expanding interest in power-aware computing at the architectural and software level. Power-aware computing has traditionally been the primary focus of designers of portable and battery-powered computing systems and has in the past largely been considered a low-level circuit design issue. In the past several years, we have seen two major shifts in the focus of power-aware computing that have greatly increased the amount of research interest in this field. First, the need for power-efficient designs is no longer solely associated with portable computing systems. Power dissipation has rapidly become a first-order design constraint in virtually every type of computing system including hand-held devices, set-top entertainment systems, desktop computers, and the most performance-hungry compute servers. The second major is that researchers in power-aware design have begun to focus on power and energy savings at higher levels in the design hierarchy including the logic design, microarchitecture, instruction set architecture, and software. In this talk I will focus on the two major thrusts of my thesis research at Princeton. First, I will discuss the challenges of architectural-level power modeling and describe a framework that I have developed for estimating power in tandem with an architectural performance simulator. This framework, called Wattch, is publicly available for the research community to develop and use. Next I will discuss how my research has utilized this framework to develop techniques for reducing power in high-performance computing systems. These techniques, focusing on the dynamic characteristics of program behavior, seek to significantly reduce the power and thermal demands of computer systems. Finally, I will discuss avenues for future research in the areas of power modeling and power-efficient design.

Hosted by John Bennett.
Refreshments will be served immediately following the talk in ECOT 831.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)