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Energy-centric dynamic fan control


Fans are one of the components performing cooling whose power consumption can be reduced by precise, energy-aware control. Such energy-efficient fan controllers must carefully manage fan speeds in order to remain as close as possible to the optimal setting, simultaneously minimizing the power leakage due to heat and fan power consumption, while avoiding overheating.

The following paper presents a new Dynamic Fan Controller for Energy (DFaCE) for minimizing the energy consumption of several fans. DFaCE learns the optimal fan setting with no prior knowledge of the hardware setup nor the governing physics, all the while performing useful work on the computer. Once the optimal fan setting is found, the system immediately applies it to minimize the power consumption of the computer at no cost. The system is also evaluated over a set of benchmarks and achieves up to 46 % in the cooling subsystem compared to common temperature-driven control strategies.

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The authors thank Guenter Roeck for his kind help and support with the NCT 6775 driver, Erin Beyler for her precious advices and editing, and Jamel Tayeb from Intel Oregon for his help with the energy probes.

This paper is a result of work performed in Exascale Computing Research Lab with support provided by the CEA, Genci, Intel, and UVSQ. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CEA, Genci, Intel, or UVSQ.

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Correspondence to Benoît Pradelle.

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Pradelle, B., Triquenaux, N., Beyler, J.C. et al. Energy-centric dynamic fan control. Comput Sci Res Dev 29, 177–185 (2014).

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  • Energy
  • Temperature
  • Fan control
  • Hill climbing