HotSpot: a Dynamic Compact Thermal Model at the Processor-Architecture Level

M.R. Stan, K. Skadron, M. Barcella, W. Huang, K. Sankaranarayanan, and S. Velusamy.
In Microelectronics Journal: Circuits and Systems, Elsevier.

This paper describes a thermal-modeling approach that is easy to use and computationally efficient for modeling thermal effects and thermal-management techniques at the processor architecture level. Our approach is based on modeling thermal behavior of the microprocessor die and its package as a circuit of thermal resistances and capacitances that correspond to functional blocks at the architecture level. This yields a simple compact model, yet heat dissipation within all major functional blocks and the heat flow among blocks and through the package are accounted for. The model is parameterized, boundary- and initialconditions independent, and is derived by a structure assembly approach. The architecture community has demonstrated growing interest in thermal management, but currently lacks a way to model on-chip temperatures in a tractable way. Our model can be used for initial exploration of the design space at the architecture level. The model can easily be integrated into popular power/performance simulators, can be used to determine how thermal stress is correlated to the architecture, and how architecture-level design decisions influence thermal behavior and related effects.

The work presented in this paper has since been partially superseded by:

A preprint of this Microelectronics Journal paper is available in pdf
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