Microarchitecture Evaluation and Exploration

Project status: 

Although the emerging three-dimensional integration technology can significantly reduce interconnect delay, chip area, and power dissipation in nanometer technologies, its impact on overall system performance is still poorly understood due to the lack of tools and systematic flows to evaluate 3D microarchitectural designs. Our contribution is the development of MEVA-3D, an automated physical design and architecture performance estimation flow for 3D architectural evaluation which includes 3D floorplanning, routing, interconnect pipelining and automated thermal via insertion, and associated die size, performance, and thermal modeling capabilities. We apply this flow to a simple, out-of-order superscalar microprocessor to evaluate the performance and thermal behavior in 2D and 3D designs, and demonstrate the value of MEVA-3D in providing quantitative evaluation results to guide 3D architecture designs. In particular, we show that it is feasible to manage thermal challenges with a combination of thermal vias and double-sided heat sinks, and report modest system performance gains in 3D designs for these simple test examples. Sponsored by Intel and SRC.