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An adaptive method to perform dynamic voltage and frequency scheduling (DVFS) for minimizing the energy consumption of microprocessor chips is presented. Instead of using a fixed update interval, the proposed DVFS system makes use of adaptive update intervals for optimal frequency and voltage scheduling. The optimization enables the system to rapidly track the workload changes so as to meet soft real-time deadlines. The technique, which can be realized with very simple hardware, is completely transparent to the application. The results of applying the method to some real application workloads demonstrate considerable power savings and fewer frequency updates compared to DVFS systems based on fixed update intervals.