Michel Rottleuthner, Thomas C. Schmidt, Matthias Wählisch,
FlexClock: Generic Clock Reconfiguration for Low-end IoT Devices,
Open Archive: arXiv.org, Technical Report, No. arXiv:2102.10353, February 2021.

Abstract: Clock configuration within constrained general-purpose microcontrollers takes a key role in tuning performance, power consumption, and timing accuracy of applications in the Internet of Things (IoT). Subsystems governing the underlying clock tree must nonetheless cope with a huge parameter space, complex dependencies, and dynamic constraints. Manufacturers expose the underlying functions in very diverse ways, which leads to specialized implementations of low portability. In this paper, we propose FlexClock, an approach for generic online clock reconfiguration on constrained IoT devices. We argue that (costly) generic clock configuration of general purpose computers and powerful mobile devices need to slim down to the lower end of the device spectrum. In search of a generalized solution, we identify recurring patterns and building blocks, which we use to decompose clock trees into independent, reusable components. With this segmentation we derive an abstract representation of vendor-specific clock trees, which then can be dynamically reconfigured at runtime. We evaluate our implementation on common hardware. Our measurements demonstrate how FlexClock significantly improves peak power consumption and energy efficiency by enabling dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) in a platform-agnostic way.

Topics: Internet of Things


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