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Method and Apparatus for System Test Optimization using Thermal Feedback

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028208D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 90K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article describes a method of linking a test program with a datalogger in such a manner that the program can generate a thermal snapshot of the system. This data allows the test program to automatically adjust its operations so that it can optimally stress the system under test. In addition, the linkage allows the test to profile which operations stress which parts of the system most so that a more accurate view of the system environment can be made.

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Method and Apparatus for System Test Optimization using Thermal Feedback

  A major goal in thermal testing is creating the maximum about of thermal load upon the system under test. This is often done with a variety of system exercisers for various subsystems, such as network, disk, memory and cache. The main difficulty with this approach is that the activity which produces the maximum thermal stress on one system may have a completely different effect on another system, depending on the architecture. With foreknowledge of the system design, some optimization can be performed, but even this is often sub-optimal due to variances in system components or incorrect assumptions.

  This invention proposes a method to automatically adjust, control and track thermal stress on the system by coordinating the test itself with the temperature tracking devices. There are three major components of this invention: dynamic test adjustment, data communication and test algorithms. A figure illustrating this invention is shown below:

System Under Test

Probe Data

Control/Communication

Probe Data

Test Control/Communication

Datalogger

Datalogger

System Under Test

  The first component, dynamic test adjustment, deals with the specific exercisers running on the system under test. These exercisers have the ability to dynamically change their test parameters (e.g. amount of memory tested, patterns to use in testing, etc.) in response to control requests. These requests can come from either a locally running executable or a remote client, such as over a network. This

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dynamic adjustment allows the test to be controlled in a manner that emphasizes the thermal response of the system. It also allows the test to attempt various types of system interaction so that test algorithms can sample the temperatures available and gauge the system response.

  The second component, data communication, refers to the capability of the test program to directly communicate with the data acquisition mechanisms, such as a datalogger. This communication can take place over any supported means, such as TCP/IP or GPIB (IEEE 488). From the datalogger perspective, this unit has several probes (e.g. thermocouples) attached into the system with control cabling. The datalogger monitors these probes and makes their data available via the remote interface. Thus, the test program is able to have access to all the probe data available on the machine. The communication channel allows this data to be remotely queried and sampled.

  The third component of this invention is the test algorithms which link the dynamic test adjustment capability with the temperature data reported by the datalogger. These algorithms adjust the test itself in response to the thermal data it is receiving from the datalogger. There are two main test phases that are involved in these algorithms. The first phase is a sampling...