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SafeSpeed: Technology to increase microprocessors performances

Computational performanceMicroprocessorsThermal power dissipation

Introduction

The SafeSpeed technology serves to prevent excessively high temperatures in microprocessors, while allowing them to run at the maximum possible speed. It is applicable to virtually any platform with dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) like a desktop or laptop personal computer, a smartphone, a tablet, a server, an industrial controller, and so forth.

Technical features

SafeSpeed is an event-based feedback control system acting on DVFS, and is suitable for both single- and multi-core devices (no matter whether a per-core or per-chip DVFS is provided).

Two are the major advances over the state of the art. First, SafeSpeed can be realized entirely in software, in hardware, or with various combinations thereof. This allows for a smooth (software) implementation in devices already designed and shipping, as well as for its zero-overhead (hardware) realization if desired. Second, no matter which implementation form is chosen, the event-based nature of the controller minimizes the number of actions (frequency variations) taken on the system, with apparent advantages as for electronic stress.

Possible Applications

  • In any platform with dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) like a:
  • Desktop or laptop personal computer;
  • A smartphone;
  • A tablet;
  • A server;
  • An industrial controller.

Advantages

  • It guarantees maximum speed wthout thermal constraint violation;
  • It integrates seamlessly with any power/performance management scheme, with negligible overhead;
  • It reduces the risk of damaging the processing unit;
  • It reduces the risk of premature aging;
  • It improves reliability over time.