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Dynamically inserting, operating, and eliminating thermal sensors of FPGA-based systems

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3 Author(s)
Lopez-Buedo, S. ; Sch. of Comput. Eng., Univ. Autonoma de Madrid, Spain ; Garrido, J. ; Boemo, E.I.

In this paper, a new thermal monitoring strategy suitable for field programmable logic array (FPGA)-based systems is developed. The main idea is that a fully digital temperature transducer can be dynamically inserted, operated, and eliminated from the circuit under test using run-time reconfiguration. A ring-oscillator together with its auxiliary blocks (basically counting and control stages) is first placed in the design. After the actual temperature of the die is captured, the value is read back via the FPGA configuration port. Then, the sensor is eliminated from the chip in order to release programmable resources and avoid self-heating. All the hardware of the sensor is written in Java, using the JBits API provided by the chip manufacturer. The main advantage of the technique is that the sensor is completely stand-alone, no I/O pads are required, and no permanent use of any FPGA element is done. Additionally, the sensor is small enough to arrange an array of them along the chip. Thus, FPGAs became a new tool for researchers interested in the thermal aspects of integrated circuits.

Published in:

Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )