We are developing a prototype mobile application processor called GreenDroid that leverage "dark silicon" to dramatically reduce energy consumption in smartphones. GreenDroid will provide many specialized processors targeting key portions of Google's Android smartphone platform. GreenDroid will reduce energy consumption for these codes by integrating conservation cores (c-cores).

Our Hotchips 2010 work, GreenDroid: A Mobile Application Processor for a Future of Dark Silicon, flushes out this proposal. This was followed up with this April 2011 IEEE Micro paper. Our ASPLOS 2010 paper is one of the earliest peer-reviewed architecture papers to have a cogent description of the utilization wall that causes the dark silicon problem, and to propose specialization as an architectural solution. 

Our group has constructed a fully-automated toolchain that generates c-cores from application source code. The resulting specialized circuits can deliver up to 18x increases in energy efficiency without sacrificing performance. C-cores also incorporate focused reconfigurability that allows them to adapt to small changes in the target application while still realizing efficiency gains.


In the news

30 April 2011:

7 September 2010: Some more

1 September 2010: More coverage

7 August 2010: Embedded Insights' take on GreenDroid: UCSD Turns On the Light on Dark Silicon.

24 August 2010: Light Reading discusses GreenDroid: Chip Design Fights Smartphone Power Limits.

24 August 2010: GreenDroid coverage in EETimes: Android processor shines light on dark silicon.

24 August 2010: GreenDroid in IEEE Spectrum: GreenDroid Application Processor Will Battle Dark Silicon.

28 June 2010: GreenDroid will be at HotChips: CPU, GPU makers gussie up their wares for Hot Chips.