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NVIDIA : Patent Issued for Graphics Processor Clock Scaling Based on Idle Time (USPTO 9773344)

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10/05/2017 | 05:33pm CET

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Aelion, Ilan (Fort Collins, CO); Bergstrom, Terje (Espoo, FI); Longnecker, Matthew R. (San Jose, CA), filed on December 12, 2012, was published online on September 26, 2017, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 9773344 is assigned to Nvidia Corporation (Santa Clara, CA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Computer systems continue to evolve, with ever faster processing speeds, greater data handling capabilities, and increasing storage capacity. Computers have also been steadily reduced in size. This size reduction is most apparent in the laptop, notebook, tablet and hand-held computer markets. While desiring to continuously decrease the size and weight of laptops, notebooks, and hand-held computers, manufacturers have also steadily reduced the size and weight of on-board batteries. Because battery-life in laptops, notebooks, and hand-held computers is such a strong consideration, power management methods are utilized to increase battery-life.

"In conventional computer systems, a graphics processing unit (GPU), following instructions from a central processing unit (CPU), processes frames of display data that are subsequently sent to a display device. In one exemplary embodiment, the graphics processor, via an interface, supplies a next frame of display information to a timing controller of a display panel. In one embodiment, the display panel is refreshing at a 60 Hz rate. Therefore, approximately every 16.7 milliseconds a new frame of display information needs to be processed by the graphics processor and delivered to the display panel. Because a graphics processor may process a frame of display data faster than the exemplary 16.7 milliseconds between refreshes, the graphics processor may experience periods of idle time, where no display data remains to be processed, while the graphics processor continues running at its current clock rate."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of this present invention provide solutions to the challenges inherent in improving graphics processor power efficiency within a computer system. In a method according to one embodiment of the present invention, a method for dynamic graphics processor clock scaling based on a percentage of idle time is disclosed. In one embodiment, a percentage of idle time is calculated based upon an elapsed idle time and an elapsed active time. The graphics processor unit (GPU) clock rate is reduced if the idle time percentage is higher than a high limit threshold. The GPU clock rate is increased if the idle time percentage is below a low limit threshold.

"In another method according to one embodiment of the present invention, a method for dynamically adjusting a criterion for a procedure for dynamically scaling a clock for a graphics processor is disclosed. An initial value is selected for a low idle time limit and a high idle time limit. A quantity of scale up and scale down decisions are counted over a period of several evaluation periods. The clock scale-up decisions and the clock scale-down decisions increase and decrease a graphics processor clock rate, respectively, when a percentage of idle time in an evaluation period is lower than the idle-time percentage low-limit value or higher than the idle-time percentage high-limit value, respectively. A proportion of scale up to scale down decisions is calculated. If an up/down ratio is at a high limit, the idle time percentage limits are increased. If the up/down ratio is at a low limit, the idle time percentage limits are decreased.

"In a computer system according to one embodiment of the present invention, the computer system comprises a processor, a graphics processor, a memory, and a clock generator. The clock generator is operable to generate clock signals for the processor and the graphics processor. The memory is operable to store instructions, that when executed by the processor perform a method of dynamically scaling a clock output of the clock generator to the graphics processor. The method comprises calculating a percentage of idle-time based upon an elapsed idle-time and an elapsed active time. The method also includes reducing a graphics processor clock rate if the percentage of idle time is higher than a high limit threshold; and increasing the graphics processor clock rate if the percentage of idle time is lower than a low limit threshold."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Aelion, Ilan; Bergstrom, Terje; Longnecker, Matthew R.. Graphics Processor Clock Scaling Based on Idle Time. U.S. Patent Number 9773344, filed December 12, 2012, and published online on September 26, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9773344.PN.&OS=PN/9773344RS=PN/9773344

Keywords for this news article include: Computers, Nvidia Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Technology Newsletters

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