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© 2006 IBM Corporation 0
IBM Research © 2007 IBM Corporation Multi-Core Design Automation Challenges John Darringer IBM T. J. Watson Research Center Yorktown Heights, NY, USA DAC 2007
© 2006 IBM Corporation 2 Scaling no longer provides traditional performance boost Power limits everything Advances will come from entire performance stack Technology Chip Level System Level Application Dynamic optimization Assist Threads Fast Computation Power Optimization Compiler Support Packaging, Cooling New Devices Dense SRAM, eDRAM Optics Memory Languages, Software Tuning Efficient Programming Middleware System Performance Requires An Integrated Approach Compiler Support Multiple Cores SMT Accelerators Power Management Interconnect Circuits Recent Historical Trend Device Performance 199820002002200420062008 Production Date 20 200 FPG 100
© 2006 IBM Corporation 3 Innovation in System Design Power 4 Multi-Core-2001 Power 5 Multi-Thread-2004 CELL Accelerators-2006 Power 6 4.7 Ghz-2007
© 2006 IBM Corporation 4 Trend to Modular Application Optimized Systems Growing use of diverse modular components Chip integration may evolve to component assembly Challenge is in system-level design –Optimizing architecture for specific applications Core Accelerator Cache Blades SMP... Memory
© 2006 IBM Corporation 5 Multi-Core ASICs Multi-core ASIC SoCs are common today –Address broad range of markets –Enables high functional integration –Provides rapid time to market One example from 2004 –Cisco Silicon Packet Processor –188 32-bit RISC processors –47 BIPS
© 2006 IBM Corporation 6 Multi-Core Processors Power efficient, reusable cores Application matched accelerators Flexible scaleable interconnect Optimized memory hierarchy High speed I/O Energy management Deliver system performance Rapid chip assembly to serve diverse markets
© 2006 IBM Corporation 7 CHALLENGE System Design –Continued performance growth –Increasing power efficiency –Optimizing for new applications Design Automation – Custom design efficiency – AISC productivity – Design and verification Enablers – Physical Architecture – Integrated Early Analysis – Multi-Core Verification
© 2006 IBM Corporation 8 Physical Architecture Complement logical architecture Streamline chip integration Plan for interconnect Provide predictable results Multiple strategies –Fixed layout per block –Parametric or generated –Extended synthesis Example Logical Architecture Example Physical Architecture
© 2006 IBM Corporation 9 Modular Components Components need self-contained vertical stack – with clean interfaces to enable automated integration Component Fabric Interface Component Function Future Component Current “Component” Mixed Fabric and Component Function; Custom Interface Future Chips Current Chips Automated connection with parametric fabric Custom crafting of clock, data, and power meshes
© 2006 IBM Corporation 10 Custom Design Careful interconnect design –Communication –Clock distribution –Power and ground Better power efficiency –Clock gating, Power gating –Detailed transistor sizing High bandwidth memory and I/O Higher frequency operation
© 2006 IBM Corporation 11 Challenges of Modular Design Core Custom Layout – Flexible shape and orientation – Optimum mesh for power and clock – Distributed communication and test – Manually optimized Modular Layout – Constrained shape and orientation – Separate power and clock per core – Parametric interconnect fabric – Automatic connection to fabric
© 2006 IBM Corporation 12 Custom Clock Design Distribution network –Latches and clocked gates –Control skew and jitter –Minimize power –Survive variation and noise Interconnect models –Inductance critical –Transmission line –Buffer placement Hand optimized –Still an art Phillip Restle
© 2006 IBM Corporation 13 Custom Power Distribution Distribute to all devices Multiple voltage domains Simulate detailed power demand Model chip and package Consider ground coupling Balance mesh and trees Allocate decoupling capacitors Focus on resonant frequency Explore clock/power gating scenarios Howard Chen
© 2006 IBM Corporation 14 Challenges of Modular Design Custom Wiring – Optimized over chip – Resources shared – Variation minimized – Complex analysis and integration Modular Wiring – Optimized at block level – Fixed resource allocation – Some variation in results – Requires automated integration
© 2006 IBM Corporation 15 Spectrum of Strategies Fixed physical architecture Careful block design Custom within block Automated block connect Predictable results Good for planned cases Stresses design Modular Reuse Extended Synthesis Generated physical architecture More abstract layout Heavy physical synthesis Unique block configuration Results will vary Flexible restructuring Stresses tools Fixed Layout…. Parametric….. Generated
© 2006 IBM Corporation 16 Systems Demand Early Analysis To explore many more options –Cores, Accelerators, Interconnect, Memory Hierarchy, … To consider many design criteria simultaneously –Power, Performance, Latency, Hotspots, Reliability, … To optimize system for specific market Environment exists for early functional modeling But today’s tools are not linked to physical design
© 2006 IBM Corporation 17 Early System Analysis Performance Models Design Power Analysis Technology Thermal Analysis Package Implementation Interconnect Analysis Floorplan Assumptions Design Team Loosely coupled disciplines with multiple experts and distinct models
© 2006 IBM Corporation 18 Performance Modeling Is Changing New parallel workloads emerging –Execution vs. trace driven Shifting to multi-core designs –Stresses balance of model performance and accuracy Complex interconnect fabric and memory hierarchy –Bus, switch, network, asynchronous,… Increasing use of SystemC –For early software development and component sharing
© 2006 IBM Corporation 19 Early Physical Planning is Essential Interconnect requires full chip layout –Estimate component area before implementation –Need more accurate methods –Have to plan for all facilities to predict chip size Placement coupled to many factors –Interconnect performance –Power –Thermal and reliability concerns –Yield
© 2006 IBM Corporation 20 Interconnect Fabric Modeling Interconnects in Multi-Core Designs Memory Controller Core Cache Core Cache Core Cache Core Async/Sync Interface with Parametric delay Interconnect Delays Interconnect delays – Effect performance – Depend on placement – Require accurate modeling
© 2006 IBM Corporation 21 Power is Key Criteria, but Hard to Predict Need estimate before implementation –Voltage/Frequency scaling, Voltage islands, clock gating, leakage Not just core, but many diverse chip components –Core, cache, interconnect, controllers, I/O, pervasive Model “interesting” states and transitions Scale known implementations –Complex measurement process for calibration –Requires data from chip layout
© 2006 IBM Corporation 22 Integrated Early System Analysis Implementation Design Floorplan Package Technology Assumptions Results Performance Power Interconnect Thermal Optimize Handoff Design Team Couple all forms of early analysis Share data in central repository Industry standard data model – Open Access Hand-off to chip integration – Assumptions, blocks, layout, … Graphic interface for editing Stage is set for optimization
© 2006 IBM Corporation 23 Multi-Core Verification Verification has always been the greatest challenge Complexity grows with each generation Challenge is to exploit reuse with multi-core designs –Requires clear interface definition Core Core Verification System Verification Traditional ApproachMulti-Core Approach
© 2006 IBM Corporation 24 Core Verification Complexity growing –Clock/Power gating, Voltage and frequency scaling Formal methods are used –Checking RTL = netlist –Checking assertions –Proving implementation equivalent to reference model Simulation still dominates Need higher level of specification –Improve quality –Stretch synthesis and verification tools Reuse verification environment
© 2006 IBM Corporation 25 System Verification More complex systems –Many cores, accelerators, networks, asynchronous links Memory and network contention is critical area Formal methods have made impact –Verifying abstract memory protocols Simulation is still the final check Need system-level test case generation –Use system knowledge to expose resource contention issues
© 2006 IBM Corporation 26 Summary Exciting and challenging times –Designing application optimized multi-core systems –Delivering custom efficiency with ASIC productivity Focus areas –Physical Architecture to streamline chip integration –Integrated Early Analysis to explore design space –Multi-core verification that exploits reuse Long history of invention in today’s RTL flow Innovation is needed now at the system level
© 2006 IBM Corporation 27 Acknowledgements Thanks to the following people –Emrah Acar, Reinaldo Bergamaschi, Pradip Bose, Howard Chen, Nagu Dhanwada, Steven German, Steve Kosonocky, Indira Nair, Ruchir Puri, Phillip Restle, Albert Ruehli, Michael Vinov.
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