High-speed integrated thermal/power/performance management for high power density microprocessors

Data di pubblicazione




Data di priorità



Patent application in US and Europe


Politecnico di Milano


Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering


Alberto Leva, William Fornaciari, Federico Terraneo


We created a thermal control method for high power density microprocessors, that straightforwardly integrates with power/performance management. Our solution is capable of guaranteeing safe operation without unduly limiting speed. Thanks to a thorough exploitation of event-based control and to a convenient hardware/software partition, the solution causes a negligible computational overhead, and is easy to tune - also automatically - after the processor is deployed, to withstand heterogeneous operating conditions. Also, the solution is agnostic with respect to the operating system. A prototype was realised, in which the hardware part is software-emulated, and proved successful beyond the current state of the art.

Campo di applicazione

The invention can be applied in all cases where a processor – or a digital processing unit at large - has thermal dissipation issues, provided that it supports DVFS and has a temperature sensor. In the case of multi-core processors, the invention is applicable to each core individually provided each has a DVFS and a temperature sensor. Examples of products that can take advantage of this invention are: processors (possibly multi-many core CPUs) for desktop computers, laptops, servers, smartphones, tablets; graphical processors (GPU) for desktop computers, laptops, servers, smartphones, tablets.


- Guarantee thermal safety with, in the critical cases, only graceful degradation of the software exec speed. - Seamless transition from maximum speed to thermally limited operation. - Permit smooth and gradual transition from a performance oriented to a power saving oriented operation. - Increase the processor performance while reducing the production cost, compared to solutions employing a dedicated microcontroller. - Reduce thermal cycling, thus increasing reliability and life time of the devices. -Automatically tuneable after deployment.

Stadio di sviluppo

Physical prototype.