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Accessed frequently. Gate. Put in Drowsy. Line brought into cache. 35 ο C. Accessed frequently. Put in Drowsy. Gate. Line brought into cache. 85 ο C. Static Power Saved over stationary approach ~24%. Cache Line Idle. 65 ο C. 45 ο C. 35 ο C. Hybrid. 85 ο C. Drowsy. 110 ο C.

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Accessed frequently


Put in Drowsy

Line brought into cache


Accessed frequently

Put in Drowsy


Line brought into cache


Static Power Saved over stationary approach ~24%

Cache Line Idle








Thermal Sensors and Adaptivity for Power Reduction

HiPeac Summer School 2005

APEL: Applied Electronics Laboratory

University of Patras, Patras Greece

Polychronis Xekalakis, Stefanos Kaxiras, Georgios Keramidas, kaxiras,

Key Ideas

Use 4T Dram Cells as Thermal Sensors

Adapt Hybrid Decay-Drowsy Scheme in Accordance to Temperature

3. Thermally Adaptive Hybrid Drowsy-Decay Scheme

1. 4T Dram Decay Sensors

How it Works

A day of a Cache Line in a Hybrid Thermally Adaptive Scheme

  • Initially 4T Cell is Charged
  • When it loses it’s charge generates a pulse and resets charge of the cell
  • Rate at which loses charge proportional to leakage currents
  • Leakage currents proportional to temperature
  • Frequency of pulses proportional to temperature
  • Cache Line brought into cache and frequently accessed
  • Cache Line Idle:
  • Put line in Drowsy state
  • Gate the cache line
  • Drowsy kept Constant with temperature (little variation)
  • Decay varies with Temperature (use 4T cell)

Sensors Characteristic

Effect of Process Variation

Stationary Hybrid and Drowsy Normalized Energy Savings vs. Temperature

The Mechanics

2. Leakage Techniques that Adapt to Temperature

Why we Need Them

  • Gate Leakage exponentially depends on Temperature
  • Temperature Changes with program execution
  • All leakage saving techniques try to minimize dynamic to static ratio
  • Stationary approach sub-optimal and this worsens as technology scales
  • Gate Leakage is and will be dominant Leakage Current

Normalized Energy Savings vs. Temperature

Perfect Temperature Adaptivity

Ideal Hybrid

4T Hybrid




Leakage Current: Moore’s Law Meets Static Power

Nam Sung Kim, Todd Austin, David Blaauw, Trevor Mudge