Intelligent Power Allocation

Maximize performance in the thermal envelope.

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The modern System-on-Chip (SoC) has higher thermal dissipation than its previous generations, because of the following factors:

  • Increasing processor frequencies.
  • Decreasing SoC package and device sizes.
  • Higher levels of integration.
  • Static power consumption trends with the most advanced SoC fabrication[1].

Faster frequencies mean faster switching, which means more power consumption and more heat dissipation. Smaller size means smaller thermal mass, which makes it more difficult to transfer heat quickly. As a result, power density has increased rapidly, and SoC temperature has now become a fundamental design bottleneck. Therefore, you need a thermal management solution to keep an SoC within a defined temperature range.

Most ARM-based systems do not have fans. Therefore, you must take special care to keep system temperatures within acceptable bounds.

To address this challenge, ARM has developed Intelligent Power Allocation (IPA) to keep an SoC within its thermal envelope by dynamically tuning the power allocation according to the current temperature.

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