razor - RAZOR A VARIABILITY-TOLERANT DESIGN METHODOLOGY FOR...

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RAZOR: A VARIABILITY-TOLERANT DESIGN METHODOLOGY FOR LOW-POWER AND ROBUST COMPUTING by Shidhartha Das A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Computer Science and Engineering) in The University of Michigan 2009 Doctoral Committee: Professor David T. Blaauw, Chair Professor Trevor N. Mudge Professor Marios C. Papaefthymiou Associate Professor Dennis M. Sylvester Krisztián Flautner, Director of Research, ARM Ltd.
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© Shidhartha Das All Rights Reserved 2009
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ii To my family, friends and teachers
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iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis has been in making for the last six years or so. While I take immense pride and joy in being finally able to finish it, this task could not have been accomplished without the many contributions of the wonderful people that I have had the good fortune of being associated with, all these years. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to them. First and foremost, I would like to thank my advisor, Prof. David Blaauw. His incredible creativity has been the source of a lot of ideas in this thesis. His capacity for hard work and single-minded focus is inspirational. In the last six years that I have known David, he has taught me by example, how to be a better researcher, writer, speaker and, perhaps more importantly, a better person. I have often turned to him for counsel during difficult times in this dissertation and his support has helped me sustain my focus. David is easily one of the best advisors to have. Secondly, I would like to thank Prof. Mudge, Prof. Sylvester, Prof. Papaefthymiou and Dr. Flautner to take time from their busy schedules to be a member of my dissertation committee. Your valuable suggestions and feedback have greatly strengthened the thesis. In particular, I would like to thank Kris for initiating the Razor project in ARM and for the opportunity of turning Razor into a “real world” technology. Special thanks are due to Trevor for the long conversations on politics, history and theology that we have shared over dinner in the curry houses in Cambridge, U.K. His sense of humor has been a big help when the going got tough. I want to express my gratitude to my colleagues at ARM, particularly David Bull, who I have worked with very closely in the past four years. David is easily one of the sharpest minds that I have ever interacted with. I have learnt a lot from his vast experience and his creativity. Long discussions with him have helped spawn a lot of the ideas in this thesis. I would also like to thank Emre Ozer from ARM R&D for the
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iv numerous discussions about a broad range of topics, both technical and otherwise. I also thank David Flynn, John Biggs, Sachin Idgunji, Robert Aitken, Nathan Chong and my other colleagues at ARM from whom I have learnt a lot about various aspects of computer engineering.
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