Modeling the Power Variability of Core Speed Scaling on Homogeneous Multicore Systems


We describe a family of power models that can capture the nonuniform power effects of speed scaling among homogeneous cores on multicore processors. These models depart from traditional ones, which assume that individual cores contribute to power consumption as independent entities. In our approach, we remove this independence assumption and employ statistical variables of core speed (average speed and the dispersion of the core speeds) to capture the comprehensive heterogeneous impact of subtle interactions among the underlying hardware. We systematically explore the model family, deriving basic and refined models that give progressively better fits, and analyze them in detail. The proposed methodology provides an easy way to build power models to reflect the realistic workings of current multicore processors more accurately. Moreover, unlike the existing lower-level power models that require knowledge of microarchitectural details of the CPU cores and the last level cache to capture core interdependency, ours are easier to use and scalable to emerging and future multicore architectures with more cores. These attributes make the models particularly useful to system users or algorithm designers who need a quick way to estimate power consumption. We evaluate the family of models on contemporary x86 multicore processors using the SPEC2006 benchmarks. Our best model yields an average predicted error as low as 5%.

Scientific Programming