Throughput of multi-core processors under thermal constraints

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

38 Scopus citations


We analyze the effect of thermal constraints on the performance and power of multi-core processors. We propose system-level power and thermal models, and derive expressions for (a) the maximum number of cores that can be activated, with and without throttling, (b) the speedup (multi-core over single core), and the total power consumption, both as functions of the number of active cores. These expressions involve parameters like power per core, thermal resistance of hottest die block and package, and leakage dependence on temperature. We also computed the above metrics (a) and (b) numerically by solving the detailed Hotspot circuit of an multicore processor driven by a block-level exponential temperaturedependent leakage model. When compared to these numerical results, we found that the above expressions for (a) were at most 8% underpredicted, while those for (b) were accurately predicted. The proposed analytical approach is the first of its kind to relate metrics of interest in multi-core processors to high-level design parameters. Compared to numerical approaches, it provides much faster computation time, and valuable insight for processor designers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISLPED'07
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2007
EventISLPED'07: 2007 International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2007Aug 29 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design
ISSN (Print)1533-4678


OtherISLPED'07: 2007 International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Leakage dependence on temperature
  • Multi-core processors
  • Power
  • Speedup
  • Thermal management
  • Throughput

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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