These objectives and motivations were identified during the MORPH project, a part of the Power Aware Computing / Communication (PACC) initiative. In addition to exploring several mechanisms to fundamentally improve performance, the MORPH project brought forth the idea of "gear shifting" as an analogy for run-time reconfiguration. Realizing that real world applications vary their performance requirements dramatically over time, a major goal of the project was to design microarchitectures which could adjust to provide the minimal required performance at the lowest energy cost. The MORPH project explored a number of microarchitectural techniques to achieve this goal, such as morphable cache hierarchies and exploiting bit-slice inactivity. One technique, multi-cluster architectures, is the direct predecessor of this work. In addition to microarchitectural changes, MORPH also conducted a survey of realistic embedded applications which may be power constrained. Also, design implications of a power aware runtime system were explored.