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Energy Reduction and Performance Maximization through Improved Cooling
Keywords: performance, efficiency, cooling
Leakage has become an increasing fraction of processor power with each technology node. As leakage is strongly temperature dependent, processor power dissipation can be reduced through improved cooling. Processor frequency is strongly dependent on temperature and voltage. The voltage dependence is approximately proportional, while temperature dependence has reduced with each technology node. In the near future, the temperature dependence may near zero and possibly even result in reduced frequency at reduced temperature. Through improved cooling, temperature can be reduced while voltage and frequency are increased, resulting in higher system performance. For a given cooling configuration, a combination of voltage and temperature exists which maximizes system performance per watt. At higher powers, additional performance is achieved at the expense of energy. Such increases may be limited by electromigration and other failure mechanisms, which are functions of both temperature and voltage. Examples of recent systems with performance levels unachievable through conventional cooling are shown.
David Copeland,
Santa Clara, California

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