Thermal management of ARM SoCs using Linux CPUFreq as cooling device
Lei Zhou1, Shengchao Guo2
COMPUTER MODELLING & NEW TECHNOLOGIES 2014 18(12D) 162-167
1Changshu Institute of Technology, Changshu, China
2Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Shanghai, China
While the performance of modern ARM System on Chips (SoCs) increases significantly than the previous generation, the power dissipation and on-chip temperature becomes dramatically high. The existing thermal management solutions are mostly built on Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) and Dynamic Thermal Management (DTM) model for traditional desktop and server machines. They do not directly apply on mobile ARM SoCs as it is. This paper proposes a solution for thermal management on high performance ARM SoCs based on a model which is built on some ACPI thermal concepts and DTM DVFS mechanism. The thermal model is implemented on Freescale i.MX6Q SoC with Linux Kernel 3.6. It uses a lot of help from Linux thermal infrastructural and CPUFreq subsystem, and builds a cooling device backed by CPUFreq driver. A comparison testing on i.MX6Q shows that the cooling device can effectively controls the on-chip temperature around a designed threshold value. The thermal model is built on generic thermal hardware support and common software infrastructural, and therefore should work universally for other ARM SoCs.