Core level thermal estimation techniques for early design space exploration
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The primary objective of this thesis is to develop a methodology for fast, yet accurate temperature estimation during design space exploration. Power and temperature of modern day systems have become important metrics in addition to performance. Static and dynamic power dissipation leads to an increase in temperature, which creates cooling and packaging issues. Furthermore, the transient thermal profile determines temperature gradients, hotspots and thermal cycles. Traditional solutions rely on cycle-accurate simulations of detailed micro-architectural structures and are slow. The thesis shows that the periodic power estimation is the key bottleneck in such approaches. It also demonstrates an approach (FastSpot) that integrates accurate thermal estimation into existing host-compiled simulations. The developed methodology can incorporate different sampling-based thermal models. It achieves a 32000x increase in simulation throughput for temperature trace generation, while incurring low measurement errors (0.06 K- transient,0.014 K- steady-state) compared to a cycle-accurate reference method.