PhD Thesis Defense - Muhammad Ali Awan

PhD Thesis Defense - Muhammad Ali Awan

Energy and Temperature Aware Real-Time Systems
16, Jul, 2014 10:00-11:15 (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

President: Dr. José Matos, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto;
Doutor Gerhard Fohler, Professor, Department of Real Time Systems, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany;
Doutor Marko Bertogna, Associate Professor, Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Informatiche e Matematiche, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy;
Doutor Luís Miguel Pinho Almeida, Professor Associado do Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;
Doutor Mário Jorge Rodrigues de Sousa, Professor Auxiliar do Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto;
Supervisor: Doutor Stefan Markus Ernst Petters, Research Associate, CISTER - Centro de Investigação em Sistemas Confiáveis e de Tempo Real, ISEP/IPP.

Sala de Atos
Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

Modern embedded systems have increasingly penetrated our daily life, and have facilitated and accelerated our regular activities. Some of these systems are constrained with strict timing requirements, and have limited and/or intermittent power supply. One of the major challenges in the design process of such systems is to minimise their energy consumption and thus to increase the battery life and enhance their mobility. In order to address this objective, it is important to understand the current trends in the embedded systems industry. With progressing CMOS technology miniaturisation, the leakage power dissipation — once neglected — has become a major contributor to the overall power dissipation of modern embedded systems and as a matter of fact it has started to dominate its counterpart, the dynamic power dissipation. To cope with current trend of increasing leakage current, hardware vendors have equipped modern embedded processors with several sleep states and reduced the overhead (energy/time) of a sleep transition. Secondly, there is a trend towards an increased number of devices, as an ever increasing need for extra functionality in a single embedded system demands for extra Input/Output (I/O) devices, which are expensive in terms of energy consumption. Similar to processors, these devices are also equipped with low power sleep states to reduce their energy consumption. Thirdly, modern embedded processors have started to suffer from thermal issues due to increase in power density. It is essential to keep temperature within recommended limits for the safe operation of the system and to increase the durability/reliability of hardware platforms. Finally, CMOS industry experienced a paradigm shift in the last decade from single processor design to multicore hardware platforms as the clock frequency cannot be further increased efficiently to enhance the performance of the system. This is driven by the increase in performance per watt ratio that demands special packaging techniques to dissipate the generated heat at high frequencies.

This dissertation attempts to provide energy efficient solutions and techniques to cope with the aforementioned arising trends, while closing the gap between theoretical research and practice. In particular, it focuses at operating system-level power management and exploits the available sleep states to improve on energy efficiency while mainly concentrating on leakage power dissipation. Uniprocessor power management has been widely explored in the last two decades. Several procrastination approaches has been proposed in the literature to deal with the leakage current. However, these solutions approximate the procrastination interval to ease the analysis and suboptimally utilise the available resources to minimise energy consumption. Such approximation is eliminated in this dissertation with the optimal algorithm to maximise energy savings. The practical limitation of the procrastination scheduling algorithm is relaxed by eliminating the need for external hardware to implement the power saving algorithm. These newly developed algorithms with low complexity save energy comparable to procrastination scheduling. Furthermore, this dissertation demonstrates that idealised dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, and the thermally constrained dynamic power management are equivalent in nature. Hence, existing solutions proposed for dynamic voltage and frequency scaling can be easily ported to increase the energy efficiency in thermally constrained systems.


Intra-task I/O device scheduling was vastly ignored in the past due to increased overhead of sleep transitions. The decrease in sleep transition overheads allows to explore this new paradigm of device scheduling. This solution not only minimises the pessimism involved in the traditional device scheduling algorithms but also reduces the online overhead of scheduling algorithms and has the flexibility to scale easily with an increase in I/O devices. Finally, this dissertation addresses the power management in the context of multicore hardware platforms. Global scheduling algorithms have become an attractive choice to schedule applications on a homogeneous multicore platform. The proposed energy saving algorithm exploits the spare capacity in the schedule and exploits the sleep states available in homogeneous multicore platform to save energy consumption. Heterogeneous multicore platforms are famous in modern computing to perform specific tasks efficiently. Energy efficient mapping on heterogeneous multicore platforms addressed in the literature considers only dynamic power dissipation while assuming leakage power dissipation a constant factor. Opposed to state-of-the-art, the proposed allocation heuristics in the thesis are divided into two phases to tackle both dynamic and leakage power dissipation. All the algorithms proposed in this dissertation are evaluated with extensive set of simulations for a variety of hardware platforms and workloads.

CISTER's main roles:
Muhammad Ali Awan
Stefan M. Petters