Power Management

Vol. 8 No. 1 – January 2010

Power Management

Managing Contention for Shared Resources on Multicore Processors

Contention for caches, memory controllers, and interconnects can be alleviated by contention-aware scheduling algorithms.

Modern multicore systems are designed to allow clusters of cores to share various hardware structures, such as LLCs (last-level caches; for example, L2 or L3), memory controllers, and interconnects, as well as prefetching hardware. We refer to these resource-sharing clusters as memory domains, because the shared resources mostly have to do with the memory hierarchy.

by Alexandra Fedorova, Sergey Blagodurov, Sergey Zhuravlev

Power-Efficient Software

Power-manageable hardware can help save energy, but what can software developers do to address the problem?

The rate at which power-management features have evolved is nothing short of amazing. Today almost every size and class of computer system, from the smallest sensors and handheld devices to the "big iron" servers in data centers, offers a myriad of features for reducing, metering, and capping power consumption. Without these features, fan noise would dominate the office ambience, and untethered laptops would remain usable for only a few short hours (and then only if one could handle the heat), while data-center power and cooling costs and capacity would become unmanageable.

by Eric Saxe