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The efficiency of any person tends to decrease outside its thermal comfort level. Exactly is the case with machines. In a processor, every individual component has its own functional temperature range outside which their efficiency tends to slow down. Outside the functional temperature range these operations can cause logic errors or dent the component/system, even sometimes lead to irreversible changes in the operating characteristics. A processor's thermal condition is the function of both, the system and the component's thermal characteristics. At the system level, it is all about the air flow, the ambient temperature, and the physical constraints of the processor. At the processor level thermal condition depends on component power dissipation, the processor package thermal characteristics, and the processor's thermal solution. With the drive to make more and more compact processing systems with increased performance levels, the packaging density increases further. This leads to rise in power density with lesser air flow and thermal comfort for the components. This makes system design important in today's scenario, shifting the focus on meeting the thermal design requirements of each component in the processor to have increased productivity. This document provides an understanding of thermal characteristics and lays down guidelines on how to meet the thermal requirements of a processor system using the Intel Atom Processor 300 series. Although the document has taken Intel Processor as a reference, these guidelines can be applied to any system form factor.
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