Method and apparatus for reducing power consumption in a computer system by placing the CPU in a low power mode

  • US 5,721,937 A
  • Filed: 03/03/1997
  • Issued: 02/24/1998
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/10/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A computer system with power management comprising:

  • a central processing unit, said central processing unit having an active mode wherein it is responsive to external events, and a standby mode wherein power is maintained to said central processing unit and said central processing unit is in a low power state and is not responsive to said external events, said central processing unit operative such that whenever said central processing unit has completed a series of basic housekeeping functions and a next operation to be performed by said central processing unit is a no operation idle step, said central processing unit sets a condition indicating that said central processing unit is currently not required; and

    a power management circuit coupled to said central processing unit, said power management circuit being operative to monitor for said external events when said central processing unit is in said standby mode, and to cause said central processing unit to enter said active mode upon the detection of an external event, said power management circuit being operative to force said central processing unit into said standby mode in response to the condition indicating that said central processing unit is currently not required.

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