A New Linux Kernel Framework To Help Ensure You Don't Burn Yourself On Hot Devices

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 7 October 2020 at 03:00 AM EDT. 23 Comments
Linaro is working on the DTPF framework for the Linux kernel for meeting legal requirements around the maximum allowed case/contact temperature of devices.

The Dynamic Thermal Power Management (DTPM) framework being worked on for the Linux kernel is a unified interface for dealing with the power of different devices -- namely for mobile hardware and related consumer devices. The DTPM kernel framework would then provide a generic interface to user-space where a daemon is taking into account any application profile(s) and allocating an appropriate power budget to different components.

The Dynamic Thermal Power Management framework is being done ultimately for ensuring a device's case temperature stays below 45 degrees Celsius in order to comply with legal requirements -- basically ensuring the device doesn't get too hot that a user burns any part of their body. There is already a user-space daemon with relevant devices to carry out this work albeit lacking a standardized Linux kernel interface.

The proposed DTPM framework builds off the kernel's existing PowerCap framework. Those curious about more of the technical details of the Dynamic Thermal Power Management framework code being pursued by Linaro engineers can be found via this patch series. The framework was just proposed on Tuesday for possible consideration into a future kernel release.
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