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London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?

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giriscitek
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
giriscitek   1/22/2013 6:14:26 AM
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BIG-little approach is not the best approach w.r.t area consumption on a SOC ! DVFS can be split into 2 parts ( {DV + DF} Scalling ) : 1. DVS : Dynamic Voltage Scaling (very difficult for high yield, process & foundry dependent) 2. DFS : Dynamic Frequency Scaling (Much more design than process/foundry dependent : Eg. Turbo functionality of Intel & AMD processors) Dynamic frequency(DF) scaling without going into dynamic-voltage(DV) scaling issues is a much better idea for overall optimised power consumption. ARM has some customers who want their SOC to get manufactured other than TSMC much of the likes of Samsung, SMIC and Global Foundries. Hence to keep area consumption as compact as possible at the same time dynamically control the overall power consumption by altering (lowering) required performance by using DFS is much more lucrative than BIG-little approach which ARM has undertaken right now. But, BIG-little approach is much more a safe bet for any SOC design perspective because it is much more "process-independent(PI)" than "process-dependent(PD)" which makes is as a foundry independent design idea. BIG-little approach will live for now.

mvox100
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
mvox100   1/23/2013 5:06:21 PM
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Unfortunately, from the perspective of energy consumption, DF really doesn't help, even though it does lower the power (energy consumption per second). In fact, slowing down the frequency will only increase the total energy consumed for the same task as it increases the execution time (due to the extra energy consumed in the "supporting" blocks to keep the core running).

Peter Clarke
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
Peter Clarke   1/24/2013 12:15:50 PM
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I'll also throw this into the mix. At highest voltage there also tends to be an increase in non-dynamic (leakage) power consumption. BUT leakage consumption is a bigger proportion of overall IC power consumption when a chip is idling at low voltage.

Peter Clarke
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
Peter Clarke   1/24/2013 12:13:47 PM
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You seem to be treating DF and DV as if they are fully independent. But you can only achieve full DF scaling at top voltage. And at reduced voltage you cannot do much DF scaling.

bgees
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
bgees   1/22/2013 6:38:34 AM
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Bunch of Bollocks! Peter gotta get his facts straights and realize it was not ARM who invented Big Little! It was really an ARM customer that started it, then ARM took the concept, enhanced and started gorilla marketing campaign.

Hasmon
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
Hasmon   1/22/2013 6:22:43 PM
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Oh come on...there ought to be a system-wide solution to this problem. Some types of code (simple logic, event handling etc.) can probably run on the baby processor. Some larger code (iterating through large data structures, block data handling, signal processing etc.) can be done on the larger core. These are 2 different types of programming...one needs to optimize latency while the other might need to optimize throughput...but due to the prevailing convention we use a single programming language and a single processor for both types of data. If arm wants to tackle this they should invent a new type of programming language or virtual machine or something, and assign threads to different processors. Then let the VM or OS decide which core to turn on, based on software demand.

sranje
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
sranje   1/22/2013 8:27:45 PM
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How about use of Digital power mngmt (Intel's term is IVR - for integrated voltage regulator - to be used in multicore Hasswell processor family) and fine tune each core.... How many PMU/PMICs is Samsung's Exynos Octa 5 using?

GLink
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
GLink   1/23/2013 4:51:48 PM
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I would hesitate to claim that it's just DVFS. DFS works primarily on dynamic power, and does little for overall energy consumption, while DVS is where the real meat is, affecting both leakage and dynamic consumption strongly. At the same time, as voltage drops, frequency must also often be compensated to assure proper operation. Big.Little is different in that by having two entire cores, you can also use separate fabrication parameters for both. Because the two cores are independent entirely, it's possible for the .Little processor to be fabricated with a high threshold voltage in mind for low leakage during the expected long on-times. The Big. processor can then be fabricated with a more aggressive process and less concern about leakage. Rather than designing for average case, you can design for expected case for both processors.

help.fulguy
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
help.fulguy   1/23/2013 5:25:30 PM
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ARM has no choice. When your Dual core A15 power (just for core) comes at 6W, how do you compete against Intel Atom, when they can match performance and have lower power? ARM is losing the power battle. ARM is no longer power performance efficient. Intel took the lead

Pat2010
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
Pat2010   1/24/2013 8:59:06 PM
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Mhhh, more interesting techniques exit like body biasing. Check the literature on conferences I would say. Though such techniques are not always possible for everyone at a foundry - advantageous for firms with own process and modelling departments.

ChipMaster0
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re: London Calling: Are ARM's big-little days numbered?
ChipMaster0   4/20/2013 7:10:39 PM
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What's next for big.Little is that it just got 20 licensees, and Renesas will even take it into the car chip market, which should be another booming chip market, soon: http://techdomino.com/renesas-big-little-r-car-h2

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