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Thermal and Performance

Resources for debugging thermal performance on VOXL platform

VOXL, and all Snapdragon platforms, use frequency scaling to control thermal and try to maximize performance. The VOXL will limit maximum frequency if the SoC becomes too hot. Therefore it is important to manage resources carefully, like in all embedded platforms. A good article on thermal frequnecy scaling can be found here.

This page is dedicated to some of the tools available on VOXL to manage performance.

Mechanical solutions, such as a fan or a heatsink, help maximize performance. We have found this 5g cooling fan to have a good tradeoff in performance and weight.

Table of contents

  1. voxl-inspect-cpu
  2. voxl-perfmon
  3. Commands
    1. Governor
      1. Other CPU Governor Options
    2. Frequency
    3. Online


voxl-inspect-cpu is a useful tool for monitoring CPU and GPU utilization and core temperatures.


(deprecated in favor of voxl-inspect-cpu)

A Python script to monitor CPU and GPU usage as well as individual core temperatures called voxl-perfmon is bundled in the voxl-utils package that is installed by default on the target.

Usage can be found here

Source code can be found here



Set CPU 0 to performance mode

$ echo performance > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

View CPU 0’s governor mode

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Set GPU to performance mode

$ echo performance > /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/governor

View GPU’s governor mode

$ cat /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/governor

Other CPU Governor Options

performanceRun the CPU at the maximum frequency.
powersaveRun the CPU at the minimum frequency.
userspaceRun the CPU at user specified frequencies.
ondemandScales the frequency dynamically according to current load. Jumps to the highest frequency and then possibly back off as the idle time increases.
conservativeScales the frequency dynamically according to current load. Scales the frequency more gradually than ondemand.


View CPU 0’s current frequency

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq

View CPU 0’s minimum frequency

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq

View CPU 0’s maximum frequency

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

View CPU 3’s available frequencies for scaling

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu3/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies
$ 307200 403200 480000 556800 652800 729600 806400 883200 940800 1036800 1113600 1190400 1248000 1324800 1401600 1478400 1555200 1632000 1708800 1785600 1824000 1920000 1996800 2073600 2150400

Set CPU 3’s maximum frequency to 1785600 in the governor

$ echo 1785600 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu3/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

View GPU’s current frequency

cat /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/cur_freq\

View GPU’s minimum frequency

$ cat /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/min_freq

View GPU’s maximum frequency

cat /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/max_freq

View GPU’s available frequencies

$ cat /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/available_frequencies
$ 3133000000 214000000 315000000 401800000 510000000 560000000 624000000

Set GPU’s maximum frequency to 560000000 in the governor

$ echo 560000000 > /sys/class/kgsl/kgsl-3d0/devfreq/max_freq


See which CPU’s are online

$ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/online

Set CPU 2 offline

$ echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu2/online

Next: USB to Ethernet with VOXL