SMU System Management Unit

The iMac G5 uses an advanced system management unit (SMU) to manage the thermal and wattage conditions, while keeping the acoustic noise to a minimum. The SMU controls the fans and regulates the speeds to run each fan.

The SMU supports the following functions:

  • provides initial configuration of system clocks
  • automatically initiates and sequences voltage and frequency slews when the OS requests a transition to a new run level
  • handles all power button and environmental user events
  • controls RPM fans
  • provides processor Mode Ring and thermal data store
  • monitors processor temperature and power consumption
  • monitors VRD10-compliant processor power supply digital interface.

The iMac G5 system employs advanced thermal and wattage management to keep acoustic noise to a minimum. The enclosure is divided into discrete zones, each with independently controlled fans bringing in cool air from the front of the enclosure, directing it over system components and exhausting it out the rear. Temperature and power consumption are monitored by the operating system which communicates with the SMU, which in turn controls and monitors fan operation. If Mac OS X is not booted, thermal management must be provided by the alternate development operating system.

Note: If Mac OS X is not booted and the alternate development operating system does not manage the fans, the fans go into an unmanaged state and run at full speed.

The SMU controls the fans and regulates the speeds to run each fan. The SMU derives fan speed from sensors in each thermal zone. Some of these sensors monitor thermal only, while others monitor both thermal and power.

If the SMU does not receive an update from the operating system within two minutes, it begins to ramp up the speed of the fans to full speed.

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