Linux upgrade will prevent your device going into meltdown

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The Linux (opens in new tab) kernel currently under development, v5.14, is set to include patches that will prevent several Nvidia (opens in new tab) Tegra-powered devices from overheating.

The Tegra is a system-on-a-chip (SoC (opens in new tab)) developed by Nvidia primarily for mobile devices including smartphones (opens in new tab), tablets (opens in new tab), and handhelds such as the Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab).

Developers working on Nvidia Tegra-based devices report that some of them, such as the Asus Transformer TF700T tablet, get too hot to handle sooner than other similar devices.

Phoronix reports that simply throttling the CPU doesn’t help alleviate the problem. Instead, patches that integrate thermal cooling into the device frequency scaling code have been submitted and accepted for inclusion in Linux v5.14.

Frequency scaling

One of the patches explains that instead of CPU throttling, memory frequency throttling makes a rather noticeable difference in cooling Tegra devices. 

The developer of the patch argues that throttling memory frequency works since higher memory frequencies require higher SoC core voltage on the Nvidia Tegra, which is thought to be one of the main causes of heating.

Phoronix further explains that while CPU throttling helps lower the operating temperature, it isn't enough to cool the device by itself. However, together with system memory frequency throttling, the temperatures of the Tegra devices become a lot more manageable.

The patches currently target the ASUS Transformer TF700T with the Tegra 3 SoC, but could soon be adapted for other Tegra-based devices as well.

Via Phoronix (opens in new tab)

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.