IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 667–676, September 2009

Baseline Performance of Notebook Computers Under Various Environmental and Usage Conditions for Prognostics

Sachin Kumar
Student Member, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Michael Pecht
Fellow, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Prognostics and Health Management Center
City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China


This paper presents an approach for electronic product characterization. A study was conducted to formally characterize notebook computer performance under various environmental and usage conditions. An experiment was conducted on a set of ten notebook computers to evaluate the variations, trends, and correlations in performance parameters, as well as the extreme value these parameters can attain in various environmental and usage conditions. Software was developed to periodically retrieve information on the performance parameters [i.e., central processing unit (CPU) temperature, video card temperature, motherboard temperature, %CPU usage, %CPU throttle, CPU states C1, C2, and C3, and fan operation] from each computer’s basic input–output system. An automated software script was written to simulate user activity. The variability in the performance parameters was identified and the empirical relationships among parameters were established. Empirical equations can be used to calculate the expected value of the performance parameters. A system’s deviation from normal behaviour can be identified by performing a comparison between performance parameters’ expected and an observed value. The effect of environmental factors, including different power sources, ambient temperatures, humidity, and use conditions on the percentage CPU usage was studied.

Index Terms: Electronic prognostics, health monitoring, notebook computer, reliability, usage monitoring.

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