Conference Paper

System-level Max Power (SYMPO) - A Systematic Approach for Escalating System-level Power Consumption using Synthetic Benchmarks

DOI: 10.1145/1854273.1854282 Conference: 19th International Conference on Parallel Architecture and Compilation Techniques (PACT 2010), Vienna, Austria, September 11-15, 2010
Source: DBLP


To effectively design a computer system for the worst case power consumption scenario, system architects often use hand-crafted maximum power consuming benchmarks at the assembly language level. These stressmarks, also called power viruses, are very tedious to generate and require significant domain knowledge. In this paper, we propose SYMPO, an automatic SYstem level Max POwer virus generation framework, which maximizes the power consumption of the CPU and the memory system using genetic algorithm and an abstract workload generation framework. For a set of three ISAs, we show the efficacy of the power viruses generated using SYMPO by comparing the power consumption with that of MPrime torture test, which is widely used by industry to test system stability. Our results show that the usage of SYMPO results in the generation of power viruses that consume 14-41% more power compared to MPrime on SPARC ISA. The genetic algorithm achieved this result in about 70 to 90 generations in 11 to 15 hours when using a full system simulator. We also show that the power viruses generated in the Alpha ISA consume 9-24% more power compared to the previous approach of stressmark generation. We measure and provide the power consumption of these benchmarks on hardware by instrumenting a quad-core AMD Phenom II X4 system. The SYMPO power virus consumes more power compared to various industry grade power viruses on x86 hardware. We also provide a microarchitecture independent characterization of various industry standard power viruses.

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Available from: Dimitris Kaseridis, Feb 01, 2014
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