Conference paper

Integrated Microfluidic Power Generation and Cooling for Bright Silicon MPSoCs

The soaring demand for computing power in our digital information age has produced as collateral undesirable effect a surge in power consumption and heat density for computing servers. Accordingly, 30-40% of the energy consumed in state-of-the-art servers is dissipated in cooling. The remaining energy is used for computation, and causes the temperature ramp-up to operating conditions that already preclude operating all the cores at maximum performance levels, in order to prevent system overheating and failures. This situation is set to worsen as shipments of high-end (i.e., even denser) many-core servers are increasing at a 25% compound annual growth rate. Thus, state-of-the-art worst-case power and cooling delivery solutions on servers are reaching their limits and it will no longer be possible to power up simultaneously all the available on-chip cores (situation known as the existence of "dark silicon"); hence, drastically limiting the benefits of technology scaling. This presentation aims to completely revise the prevailing worst-case power and cooling provisioning paradigm for servers by championing a disruptive approach to computing server architecture design that prevents dark silicon. This proposed approach integrates a flexible heterogeneous many-core architecture template with an on-chip microfluidic fuel cell network for joint cooling delivery and power supply (i.e., local power generation and delivery), as well as a holistic power-temperature model predictive controller exploiting the server software stack, in order to achieve scalable and energy-minimal server architectures. Thanks to the disruptive system-level many-core architecture with microfluidic power and cooling delivery, as well as the complementary temperature control, we can envision the removal of the current limits of power delivery and heat dissipation in server designs, subsequently avoiding dark silicon in future servers and enabling new perspectives in future energy-proportional server designs.

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