Automatic Performance Setting for Dynamic Voltage Scaling

Research paper

The emphasis on processors that are both low power and high performance has resulted in the incorporation of dynamic voltage scaling into processor designs. This feature allows one to make fine granularity trade-offs between power use and performance, provided there is a mechanism in the OS to control that trade-off. In this paper, we describe a novel software approach to automatically controlling dynamic voltage scaling in order to optimize energy use. Our mechanism is implemented in the Linux kernel and requires no modification of user programs. Unlike previous automated approaches, our method works equally well with irregular and multiprogrammed workloads. Moreover, it has the ability to ensure that the quality of interactive performance is within user specified parameters. Our experiments show that as a result of our algorithm, processor energy savings of as much as 75% can be achieved with only a minimal impact on the user experience.

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