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Automated Frequency Change Hardware for Dynamic Voltage/Frequency Scaling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043057D
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-04

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Christopher K.Y. Chun Arnab Mitra Nitin Vig


Active power optimization can be achieved by matching the performance of the hardware to support the application requirements within a given amount of time. Dynamic Voltage/Frequency Scaling (DVFS) is a technique to enable this power optimization. DVFS requires the voltage and the frequency to be changed together in order to save power. However, the time required to change the frequency in the system is different than the time required to change the voltage of the system. This difference in transition times can cause system failure if the frequency is changed when the voltage is not at a level that can support the new frequency. A hardware timer is provided that delays the frequency increase until after the voltage has stabilized at the higher level that can support the higher frequency. The timer is bypassed during the frequency reduction transition since the voltage is sufficiently high to support the lower frequency.