Improving Energy Efficiency On Asymmetric Multiprocessing Systems

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One Line Summary

Energy-efficiency benefits of extended idle and RCU callback offloading.


As battery-powered embedded devices move towards multicore processors, multicore energy efficiency is becoming critically important. To this end, ARM recently announced its big.LITTLE architecture, featuring a multicore chip with both high-performance processors and high-efficiency processors running a single instance of the Linux operating system. Prior work has shown the benefits of running performance-critical code on the high-performance processors, while confining other processing to the high-efficiency processors. This paper builds on this work by showing that for some important mobile workloads, pre-existing Linux-kernel tuning parameters originally designed for real time, high-performance computing, and SMP energy efficiency can further reduce the amount of non-performance-critical code running on the high-performance processors, resulting in energy efficiency gains in excess of 10%.

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