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Efficient Thermal Management in Business Computer Workstations

Updated: May 8

Efficient Thermal Management in Business Computer Workstations

Thermal management is the control of temperature-based systems using various technologies, either increasing or decreasing the temperature of a specified system.

Thermal management is a crucial design issue in high-performance desktop workstations. A thermal assist unit (TAU) includes an on-chip thermal sensor and associated logic. TAU dynamically monitors and adjusts the processor’s operation to ensure maximum performance regardless of changing environmental conditions.

Hardware-based systems have raised the requirement for effective heat control technologies, i.e., TMS (Thermal Management System).

Simply put, a TMS can be a thermostatic controller that turns on a fan when the temperature exceeds a specific threshold and turns it off when the temperature decreases below the threshold.

To ensure that operation is consistently within the permissible temperature range for sensitive business-grade computer workstations, a more comprehensive TMS strategy is required.

Efficient features of a Thermal Management System:

Temperature Sensors:

Sensors for monitoring temperature can be found in a variety of forms, including analogue and digital sensors.

Thermistors, resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), thermocouples, and temperature sensor integrated circuits (TCIs) are examples of sensors that are frequently employed.

The selection of a temperature sensor is dictated by the temperature range and precision required.

For more accurate measurements, it is possible to combine many sensors of various types.

Sensor Interface:

Another limiting issue is the temperature sensor interface, which might be problematic.

When using analogue sensors, signal conditioning (such as noise reduction and amplification) and analogue to digital conversion are required before temperature measurements can be supplied to the MCU for further processing.

However, digital sensors require I/O that can handle communication protocols like as I2C, SPI, or 1-wire, which are not always available on analogue sensors.

Thermal Control Algorithm:

Running fans at their highest speed will give the best cooling effect but will consume a significant amount of electricity and generate a lot of acoustic noise.

Additionally, the fan’s lifespan is reduced as a result.

Temperature control algorithms built on a microcontroller (MCU) can run the fan at the ideal speed to balance cooling, noise production, and working life, hence increasing system efficiency.

Fan Controller:

The fan controller is a connection between the MCU and, based on the speed requested by the MCU, operates the fan with a PWM signal.

The fan controller modulates the PWM duty cycle to control the fan speed.

Open-loop fan control is more common than closed-loop fan control.

In the case of open-loop fan control, the controller adjusts the duty cycle of the fan control signal without knowing whether or not the fans are attaining the target speed.

Using closed-loop control, the controller receives feedback from the fans, allowing it to guarantee that the fans are operating as planned.

Furthermore, this input can be used to notify the MCU if a failure situation is detected (i.e., fan stall or locked rotor).


For cooling purposes, brushless direct current (BLDC) fans are the most widely utilized type.

Size, voltage rating, and the number of wires available for these fans vary.

The 2-wire fans are the simplest, requiring only power connections, however, the 3-wire fans require an additional wire to control the fan speed, making them more complex.

The design of a TMS might be drastically different depending on factors such as available space, maximum acceptable noise, cooling needs, and power consumption requirements.

Holoware business computer workstations as incorporated with efficient cooling features of TMS. It also provides an ideal cooling setup that works to keep every component in a system operating at its optimum temperature.

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