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.
- A Landscape of the New Dark Silicon Design Regime, , Micro, IEEE, Sept-Oct. 2013.
- Bitcoin and the Age of Bespoke Silicon, , CASES, 2013.
- Is Dark Silicon Useful? Harnessing the Four Horesemen of the Coming Dark Silicon Apocalypse, , Design Automation Conference, 2012.
- QsCores: Configurable Co-processors to Trade Dark Silicon for Energy Efficiency in a Scalable Manner, , To appear in Proceedings of The 44th International Symposium on Microarchitecture, 2011, pages 1-12.
- An Evaluation of Selective Depipelining for FPGA-based Energy-Reducing Irregular Code Coprocessors, , 2011 International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications, September 2011.
- GreenDroid: Exploring the next evolution in smartphone application processors, , Communications Magazine, IEEE 49(4):112-119, April 2011.
- Reducing the Energy Cost of Irregular Code Bases in Soft Processor Systems, , Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, Annual IEEE Symposium on:210-213, 2011.
- The GreenDroid Mobile Application Processor: An Architecture for Silicon's Dark Future, , Micro, IEEE 31(2):86 -95, march-april 2011.
- Efficient Complex Operators for Irregular Codes, , Proceedings of the 17th IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture Conference (HPCA 17), 2011, pages 1-12.
- Conservation cores: reducing the energy of mature computations, , Proceedings of the fifteenth edition of ASPLOS on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, New York, NY, USA, 2010, pages 205-218.
- GreenDroid: A Mobile Application Processor for a Future of Dark Silicon, , Proceedings of HotChips, 2010.
In the news
30 April 2011:
- MIT Technology Review: App-Specific Processors to Fight Dark Silicon.
- Slashdot: The Fight Against Dark Silicon
- Gizmodo: Are Custom-Designed Smartphone Processors the Way of the Future?.
7 September 2010: Some more
- San Diego Union Tribune UCSD: New technology will extend smartphone battery life
- TG Daily 'Dark silicon' improves Android battery life
1 September 2010: More coverage
- Inhabitat ‘Dark Silicon’ Could Boost Smartphone Battery Life 11 X
- e! Science News Computer scientists leverage dark silicon to improve smartphone battery life
- R&D Magazine GreenDroid chip uses dark silicon to improve smartphone battery life
- Jacobs School of Engineering Computer Scientists Leverage Dark Silicon to Improve Smartphone Battery Life
- Machines Like Us Researchers work to improve smartphone battery life
- Science Codex Computer scientists leverage dark silicon to improve smartphone battery life
- Physorg 'Dark silicon' to improve smartphone battery life
- EETimes Asia UCSD researchers develop efficient app-specific cores
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.