Energy-aware embedded media processing: customizable memory subsystems and energy management policies




Ramachandran, Anand

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The design of energy-efficient data memory architectures for embedded system platforms has received considerable attention in recent years. In this dissertation we propose a special-purpose data memory subsystem, called Xtream-Fit, targeted to streaming media applications executing on both generic uniprocessor embedded platforms and powerful SMT-based multi-threading platforms. We empirically demonstrate that Xtream-Fit achieves high energydelay efficiency across a wide range of media devices, from systems running a single media application to systems concurrently executing multiple media applications under synchronization constraints. Xtream-Fit’s energy efficiency is predicated on a novel task-based execution model that exposes/enhances opportunities for efficient prefetching, and aggressive dynamic energy conservation techniques targeting on-chip and off-chip memory components. A key novelty of Xtream-Fit is that it exposes a single customization parameter, thus enabling a very simple and yet effective design space exploration methodology to find the best memory configuration for the target application(s). Extensive experimental results show that Xtream-Fit reduces energy-delay product substantially – by 32% to 69% – as compared to ‘standard’ general-purpose memory subsystems enhanced with state of the art cache decay and SDRAM power mode control policies.