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Measuring multi-core performance, power efficiency

Posted: 12 Jul 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:multicore performance  power efficiency  power management 

Power management has often used the speed/power ratio metric (Mhz per Watt) as a measure of performance/power efficiency. If one processor had a higher Mhz per Watt rating over another, then presumably it would be more power miserly. Within a processor family this may be true, the ratings will reflect the underlying process technology and chip architecture.

However, newer microprocessors can vary in the number of cores, the number of instructions per clock cycle, and numerous hardware accelerators that can vary the performance for a given clock rate.

This means the speed/power ratio only has significance if the microprocessors have similar architectures in terms of number of cores, instructions per cycle and degree of hardware accelerators.

If one wants to compare a single core processor from one vendor with a dual core processor from another vendor, Mhz per Watt may be a misleading comparison of performance/power efficiency.

Mirabilis Design's VisualSim software simulates SoC, boards, software, processors and networked distributed system using models that are developed quickly using pre-built, parameterized modelling libraries in a graphical environment. These models contain power information embedded in them and can be used to estimate different power metrics.

View the PDF document for more information.

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