demand-based switching (DBS)

Demand-based switching (DBS) is a power-management technology developed by Intel in which the applied voltage and clock speed for a microprocessor are kept to the minimum necessary to allow optimum performance of required operations.

Demand-based switching (DBS) is a power-management technology developed by Intel in which the applied voltage and clock speed for a microprocessor are kept to the minimum necessary to allow optimum performance of required operations. A microprocessor equipped with DBS operates at reduced voltage and clock speed until more processing power is actually required.

Most microprocessors spend relatively little time working near their peak performance levels. By minimizing the average applied voltage and clock speed, DBS minimizes the average power that the chip consumes. This makes it easier to cool the system, and can produce significant energy cost savings over long periods of time. The concept is similar to that used in sophisticated electrical power generators in which the engine is throttled down during periods of low or reduced demand and runs at full throttle only during periods of peak demand.

This was first published in September 2005

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