Variation-Aware Speed Binning of Multi-core Processors

John Sartori1,  Ashish Pant2,  Rakesh Kumar1,  Puneet Gupta2
1Illinois, 2UCLA


Number of cores per multi-core processor die, as well as variation between the maximum operating frequency of individual cores, is rapidly increasing. This makes performance binning of multi-core processors a non-trivial task. In this paper, we study, for the first time, multi-core binning metrics and strategies to evaluate them efficiently. We discuss two multi-core binning metrics with high correlation to processor throughput for different types of workloads. More importantly, we demonstrate the importance of leveraging variation model data in the binning process to significantly reduce the binning overhead with a negligible loss in binning quality.