Architecture Implications of Pads as a Scarce Resource: Extended ResultsReport
Due to non-ideal technology scaling, delivering a stable supply voltage is increasingly challenging. Furthermore, competition for limited chip interface resources (i.e., C4 pads) between power supply and I/O, and the loss of such resources to electromigration, means that constructing a power delivery network (PDN) that satisfies noise margins without compromising performance is and will remain a critical problem for architects and circuit designers alike. Simple guardbanding will no longer work, as the consequent performance penalty will grow with technology scaling. In this report, we develop a pre-RTL PDN model, VoltSpot, for the purpose of studying the performance and noise trade-offs among power supply and I/O pad allocation, the effectiveness of noise mitigation techniques, and the consequent implications of electromigrationinduced PDN pad failure. Our simulations demonstrate that, despite their integral role in the PDN, power/ground pads can be aggressively reduced (by conversion into I/O pads) to their electromigration limit with minimal performance impact from extra voltage noise – provided the system implements a suitable noise-mitigation strategy. The key observation is that even though reducing power/ground pads significantly increases the number of voltage emergencies, the average noise amplitude increase is small. Overall, we can triple I/O bandwidth while maintaining target lifetimes and incurring only 1.5% slowdown.
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Zhang, Runjie, Ke Wang, Brett H. Meyer, Mircea R. Stan, and Kevin Skadron. "Architecture Implications of Pads as a Scarce Resource: Extended Results." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (2014).
University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science