This article introduces a systematic methodology to design microarchitectures that are reconfigurable down to the pipeline stage. Reconfigurable microarchitectures were showed to provide significant energy improvements in accelerators under wide-voltage scaling. However, prior art is based on ad hoc techniques that limit their applicability, without addressing the challenge of enabling general design flows for reconfigurable microarchitectures. The proposed methodology introduces the unprecedented capability of translating a conventional fixed microarchitecture into a reconfigurable one. The methodology relies on commercial EDA tools, which are integrated into a design flow through the manipulation of the gate-level netlist via a set of graph algorithms. The proposed methodology is shown to be architecture-agnostic, fully automated, and applicable to designs that are either developed at the register transfer level (RTL), or provided by third-party soft IP vendors. Ultimately, the proposed methodology allows to add microarchitectural adjustment as a run-time knob to augment the energy benefits of wide-voltage scaling. Reconfiguration is shown to improve the energy efficiency by up to 35% beyond the conventional dynamic voltage frequency scaling (DVFS), through the analysis of various test vehicles.
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Automated Design of Reconfigurable Microarchitectures for Accelerators Under Wide-Voltage Scaling