Continued CMOS scaling accompanied with a stall in the voltage scaling has led to high on-chip power densities. High on-chip power densities elevate the temperatures, substantially limiting the performance and reliability of computing systems. The use of Phase Change Materials (PCMs)1 has been explored as a passive cooling method to manage excessive chip temperatures. The thermal properties of PCMs allow a large amount of heat to be stored at near-constant temperature during the phase transition. This heat storage capability of PCM can be leveraged during periods of intense computation. For systems with PCM, development of new management strategies is essential to maximize the benefits of PCM. In order to design and evaluate these management strategies, it is necessary to have an accurate PCM thermal model. In our recent work, we proposed a detailed phase change thermal model, which we integrated into a compact thermal simulation tool, HotSpot. In this paper, we build a hardware testbed incorporating a PCM unit on top of the chip package. We then validate the accuracy of our previously proposed thermal model by comparing the HotSpot simulation results against the measurements on the testbed. We observe that the error between the measured and simulated temperatures is less than 4°C with 0.65 probability. Finally, we implement a soft PCM capacity sensor that monitors the remaining PCM latent heat capacity to be used for development of thermal management policies. We evaluate a set of thermal management policies on the testbed. We compare policies that adjust the sprinting frequency based on current temperature against the policies that take action based on the remaining PCM capacity.

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