Simultaneous dynamic voltage scaling of processors and communication links in real-time distributed embedded systems

Jiong Luo, Niraj K. Jha, Li Shiuan Peh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Dynamic voltage scaling has been widely acknowledged as a powerful technique for trading off power consumption and delay for processors. Recently, variable-frequency (and variable-voltage) parallel and serial links have also been proposed, which can save link power consumption by exploiting variations in the bandwidth requirement. This provides a new dimension for power optimization in a distributed embedded system connected by a voltage-scalable interconnection network. At the same time, it imposes new challenges for variable-voltage scheduling as well as flow control. First, the variable-voltage scheduling algorithm should be able to trade off the power consumption and delay jointly for both processors and links. Second, for the variable-frequency network, the scheduling algorithm should not only consider the real-time constraints, but should also be consistent with the underlying flow control techniques. In this paper, we address joint dynamic voltage scaling for variable-voltage processors and communication links in such systems. We propose a scheduling algorithm for real-time applications that captures both data flow and control flow information. It performs efficient routing of communication events through multihops, as well as efficient slack allocation among heterogeneous processors and communication links to maximize energy savings, while meeting all real-time constraints. Our experimental study shows that on an average, joint voltage scaling on processors and links can achieve 32% less power compared with voltage scaling on processors alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Distributed systems
  • Low power
  • Scheduling
  • Voltage scaling
  • Voltage-scalable interconnection network


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