Power Emulation Based DVFS Efficiency Investigations for Embedded Systems

Andreas Genser1,  Christian Bachmann1,  Christian Steger1,  Reinhold Weiss1,  Josef Haid2

1Graz University of Technology, Institut for Technical Informatics, 2Infineon Technologies Austria AG

Abstract

Power consumption has become a major design constraint in the embedded systems domain and techniques such as dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) have emerged to enhance the system's power and energy efficiency. DVFS-enabling voltage regulators influence the performance, power and energy efficiency of such systems, however, this impact is often neglected or considered late in the design process. In this work, we propose DVFS hardware extensions to a power emulation approach for modeling the voltage regulator behavior, which allows for performance, power and energy efficiency investigations of DVFS-enabled embedded systems. The power emulation approach delivers real-time power information in an early design phase, which allows for the exploration of DVFS efficiency before silicon is available. This offers much freedom to designers to determine the most apt voltage regulator yielding a system that meets performance, power and energy constraints.