(19)
(11)EP 3 467 651 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
15.12.2021 Bulletin 2021/50

(21)Application number: 17805797.2

(22)Date of filing:  27.05.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G06F 9/50(2006.01)
G06F 1/3234(2019.01)
G06F 1/329(2019.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
Y02D 10/00; G06F 1/329; G06F 1/3243; G06F 9/5094
(86)International application number:
PCT/CN2017/086447
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/206852 (07.12.2017 Gazette  2017/49)

(54)

METHOD, DEVICE AND TERMINAL FOR ALLOCATING COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES OF PROCESSOR

VERFAHREN, VORRICHTUNG UND ENDGERÄT ZUR ZUORDNUNG VON COMPUTERKANALRESSOURCEN EINES PROZESSORS

PROCÉDÉ, DISPOSITIF ET TERMINAL D'ATTRIBUTION DE RESSOURCES DE CALCUL D'UN PROCESSEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 31.05.2016 CN 201610380703

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/15

(73)Proprietor: GUANGDONG OPPO MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORP., LTD.
Wusha, Chang'an Dongguan, Guangdong 523860 (CN)

(72)Inventor:
  • ZENG, Yuanqing
    Dongguan Guangdong 523860 (CN)

(74)Representative: Mewburn Ellis LLP 
Aurora Building Counterslip
Bristol BS1 6BX
Bristol BS1 6BX (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 2 624 098
CN-A- 103 838 353
CN-A- 105 955 827
CN-A- 103 838 353
CN-A- 104 820 618
US-A1- 2005 289 365
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to the field of terminals, and particularly to a method and an apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, and a terminal.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] With a continuous development of processor technology, multi-core technology has become an important direction for current processor development. Compared with related single-core chips, the multi-core processor technology improves system's performance greatly with multiple processing cores' mutual assistance when a frequency is kept constant.

    [0003] CN 103838353 relates to a method for controlling processor operation. The method includes the steps of obtaining a performance number, needed by a processor, of a terminal in the current operation state, obtaining at least two operating parameter combinations, not lower than the performance number of the processor and power values of the operating parameter combinations, and invoking the operating parameter combination with the minimum power value in the two operating parameter combinations to perform the processor.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] According to a first aspect of embodiments of the present disclosure, there is provided a method for allocating computing resources of a processor as set out in claim 1.

    [0005] According to a second aspect of the embodiments of the present disclosure, there is provided an apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor as set out in claim 6. The apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor includes a processor load detecting unit, a required computing-resources calculating unit, and a processor-core combination determining unit.

    [0006] The processor load detecting unit is configured to detect a current processor load.

    [0007] The required computing-resources calculating unit is configured to determine required computing resources according to the current processor load. Computing resources correspond to a total frequency of each processor core.

    [0008] The processor-core combination determining unit is configured to obtain priori power values of each processor core at specific frequencies and determine the number of processor cores and a frequency of each processor core according to the priori power values obtained, with a total frequency of each processor core satisfying the computing resources and a total power value of each processor core being minimum.

    [0009] According to a third aspect of the embodiments of the present disclosure, there is provided a terminal as set out in claim 10.

    [0010] By means of the method and the apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, and the terminal, the number and frequencies of operating processor cores are optimized in a range of processor resources allowed by a system according to a current processor load condition of the terminal and minimum computing resources currently required. That is, according to different power consumption parameters corresponding to different combinations of the number and the frequencies of processor cores, an optimal power consumption result can be obtained under the premise that a performance requirement is met. That is, the number and the frequencies of operating processors cores are determined. By means of the method and the apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, the power consumption of the terminal can be reduced under the premise of ensuring performance of a display thread.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] In order to illustrate technical solutions of embodiments of the present disclosure more clearly, the drawings used in the embodiments will be briefly described below. It will be apparent that the drawings described in the following are merely some embodiments of the present disclosure, and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other drawings can be obtained from the drawings without any creative work.

    FIG. 1 is a schematic flow chart illustrating a method for allocating computing resources of a processor according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 2 is a schematic structural diagram illustrating an apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 3 is a schematic structural diagram illustrating a computer device for executing the method for allocating computing resources of a processor according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0012] Technical solutions of the present disclosure will be described clearly and completely with reference to the accompanying drawings; obviously, embodiments described below are merely part of rather than all of the embodiments of the present disclosure. Based on the embodiments of the present disclosure, other embodiments obtained there from without any creative work by those of ordinary skill in the art shall fall into the protection scope of the present disclosure.

    [0013] It should be noted that, terms involved in the embodiments of the present disclosure are only for the purpose of describing specific embodiments, and are not intended to limit the present disclosure. Singular forms "a", "an", and "the" involved in the embodiments of the present disclosure and appended claims are intended to include plural forms as well, unless a context clearly indicates other meanings. It should also be understood that, the term "and/or" involved herein refers to and includes any and all possible combinations of one or more of associated listed items.

    [0014] A method for allocating computing resources of a processor is provided in the embodiments of the present disclosure. An implementation of the method can depend on computer programs, which can run in a computer system based on a von Neumann system. The computer programs can be processor controlled application programs of a multi-core processor of a terminal. The computer system can be a terminal device where the above-mentioned computer programs running, such as a smart phone, a tablet personal computer, a personal computer, and the like.

    [0015] The "terminal" involved in the embodiments of the present disclosure can include a smart phone, a tablet personal computer, a vehicle terminal, a computer, and the like.

    [0016] In practice, those skilled in the art find that an actual load of a processor is different in different application scenarios. For example, there may be a large load difference between different foreground applications. For example, playing music requires a very lightweight load, taking photos or web browsing requires a moderate load, large-scale games requires a heavy load, and there is a large difference in the required number and frequency resources of central processing units (CPUs) or graphics processing units (GPUs). In addition, a large number of background applications are also running in the terminal, which also requires a certain amount of processor resources. In processor core control of an operating system, a frequency governor is responsible for frequency hopping and voltage regulation of a kernel, and a hot-plug control unit is responsible for switching of a plurality of processor cores. The processing method is mainly to preset load periodically based on current operating frequency and direction of change of the processor cores, or determine switching of each processor core according to the number of tasks running per unit time. That is, it is difficult for the frequency governor and the hot-plug control unit to distinguish different load requirements of foreground and background applications, and cannot control allocation of processor resources based on loads accurately.

    [0017] That is to say, in control schemes of a multi-core processor in the related art, the processor cannot distinguish different load requirements of foreground and background applications, and cannot control the allocation of processor resources based on the load accurately. This can lead to the following problems, for example, processor overload, a phenomenon such as a stuck caused by insufficient processing ability of the processor, or some processor cores may run in a "idle" state due to processor under-load, which in turn leads to unnecessary power waste.

    [0018] In order to reduce unnecessary power consumption of the processor, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the method for allocating computing resources of a processor can include operations at blocks 102 to 108.

    [0019] At block 102, a current processor load(s) is detected.

    [0020] In embodiments of the present disclosure, the processor involved can be a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), a micro controller unit (MCU), or any combination thereof. Moreover, the processor involved in the embodiments can be a symmetrical multi-core processor or an asymmetric multi-core processor.

    [0021] The processor load depends on the number of processes that are currently processed and the number of processes to be processed by the processor. Generally speaking, the larger the load, the more processing resources are occupied in the processor, that is, the smaller remaining processing ability. In this embodiment, for a plurality of cores of the processor in the terminal, a processor load of each processor core in a current state is obtained respectively.

    [0022] At block 104, required computing resources are determined according to the current processor load. The "computing resources" correspond to a total frequency of each processor core.

    [0023] The computing resources refer to operating frequencies corresponding to processor cores. Threshold computing resources of a processor core can represent the largest operating frequency at which the processor core operates. In order to support the current processor load, that is, the number of processes and task amount that are processed currently and to be processed by the processor, the operating frequencies of the processor cores need to be ensured.

    [0024] In this embodiment of the present disclosure, an operating frequency corresponding to each processor load can be determined correspondingly, and then the total operating frequency corresponding to a total processor load can be calculated. The total operating frequency can refer to computing resources required by all processor loads (in other words, the total processor load), that is, computing resources required to be allocated to the terminal by the processor cores for processing current process or tasks of the terminal.

    [0025] At block 106, priori power values of each processor core at specific frequencies are obtained, the number of processor cores and a frequency of each processor core are determined according to the priori power values, with a total frequency of each processor core satisfying the computing resources and a total power value of each processor core being minimum.

    [0026] In the embodiments, power values of each processor core at different operating frequencies need to be obtained in advance, that is, a correspondence between operating frequencies and power values of each processor core needs to be determined. In this embodiment, the correspondence can be provided by processor manufactures, or can be experimental results obtained by the terminal in advance. Generally speaking, the operating frequency of the processor core is not proportional to the power value; instead, the operating frequency is exponentially related to the power value. That is, the power value increases exponentially with the increase of the operating frequency.

    [0027] After obtaining the correspondence between operating frequencies and power values of each processor core, the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core can be determined according to the correspondence. For example, we suppose computing resources corresponding to a processor load is 4G, the number of available processor cores is four, and the maximum calculation amount of each processor core is 4G, then for the above-identified requirement of 4G computing resources, four kinds of combinations of processor cores are listed in the following.
    1. 1. A single processor core operates at an operating frequency of 4G.
    2. 2. Two processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 2G respectively.
    3. 3. Three processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 4/3G respectively.
    4. 4. Four processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 1G respectively.


    [0028] All of the above-mentioned four kinds of combinations of the operating number and operating frequency of processor cores can satisfy the current load of the terminal, that is, an overall processing ability of the processor is sufficient. As for the above-mentioned various combination mode, which one is selected depends on a specific power consumption of a combination. The total power value of each processor core of the combination mode selected will be minimum. That is, the number and the operating frequencies of processor cores selected are capable of resulting a minimum a power consumption of the processor.

    [0029] It should be noted that, in this embodiment, the operating frequency of each processor core can be same or different from each other.

    [0030] After the current processor load is detected, the following operations can be conducted. The minimum number of required processor cores is determined according to the current processor load. The maximum number of processor cores in a system is determined. A selectable range of the number of processor cores is determined according to the minimum number and the maximum number of processor cores. A plurality of frequency allocation strategies are determined according to a formula Nc_xFx=Nc_minFma.

    [0031] The value of Nc_x is in [Nc_min, Nc_max] ([Nc_min, Nc_max] means integers from Nc_min to Nc_max, including Nc_min and Nc_max), Nc_min refers to the minimum number of required processor cores, Nc_max refers to the maximum number of processor cores in the system, Fmax refers to the maximum frequency of a single processor core, and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core.

    [0032] The number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core can be determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies as follows. A frequency allocation strategy is determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies, where the total power value of each processor core corresponding to the frequency allocation strategy determined is minimum.

    [0033] Lc refers to the current processor load and the minimum number of required processor cores corresponding to the load can be determined with the following formula: Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100].

    [0034] For example, when Lc=20%, the minimum number of required processor cores is one; when Lc = 120%, the minimum number of required processor cores is two.

    [0035] The total number of processor cores in the terminal refers to the maximum number of allowable or available processor cores in the terminal, which is represented by Nc_max in this embodiment. For example, as for a CPU with four cores, Nc_max = 4; as for a CPU with eight cores, Nc_max = 8.

    [0036] The number of processor cores that can be selected for operation can be determined according to the minimum number Nc_min of required processor cores and the maximum number Nc_max of processor cores in the system. For example, when Nc_min =1 and Nc_max = 8, the number Nc_x of processor cores that can be selected for operation can be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, which are integers in the range [1, 8]. The value of Nc_x ranges from Nc_min to Nc_max (that is, [Nc_min, Nc_max]).

    [0037] Nc_min can be determined according to the specific value of computing resources calculated via the operations at block 104 and the largest frequency corresponding to each processor core. Various frequency allocation strategies can be determined according to the formula Nc_xFx=Nc_minFmax. Fmax refers to the maximum frequency of a single processor core and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core. Different combinations of numbers and operating frequencies of the processor cores can be determined based on the values of Nc_x and Fx.

    [0038] In the process of determining the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies, a frequency allocation strategy that satisfies the above-mentioned computing resources can be determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies, that is, according to a correspondence between specific operating frequencies and power values of each processor core. In other words, a total operating frequency allocated to the processor cores satisfies the specific value of the computing resources obtained via the operations at block 104. Based on this, a frequency allocation strategy with a minimum total power value will be selected. For example, a total power value under each frequency allocation strategy can be calculated, the minimum value of total power values can be determined according to the calculated total power values, and a frequency allocation strategy corresponding to the minimum value is selected. The number and frequency of running processor cores of the frequency allocation strategy thus obtained can be a frequency allocation strategy with the lowest power consumption level under the premise of satisfying the current load requirement of the system.

    [0039] In another implementation, the method can further include the follows after the current processor load is detected. The current processor load is set to a single processor core, when the minimum number of required processor cores determined according to the current processor load is one and there is no foreground user operation.

    [0040] In general, standby current in a single-core processor mode are less than that in a dual-core or multi-core processor mode, so the terminal load can be set to a single processor core where circumstances permit. Specifically, when the determined Nc_min=1, it means that a single processor core is sufficient to carry the current load. In addition, when a user does not perform any foreground operation at present, it indicates that the user does not have a large load requirement on the terminal, therefore, the entire current processor load can be carried out by a single processor, that is, the terminal can be turned into a single processor core mode. For example, when the processor is a CPU, the terminal entered a single CPU core mode. By means of the embodiment, the standby current of the terminal can be significantly reduced.

    [0041] In this embodiment, the number and the frequencies of operating processor cores in the processor are determined according to the foregoing operations, and then the terminal needs to set the processor thereof according to the determined number and frequencies of operating processor cores in the processor. In this embodiment, in processor core control of an operating system, a frequency governor is responsible for frequency hopping and voltage regulation of a kernel, and a CPU/GPU hot-plug control unit is responsible for switching of a plurality of processing cores. That is, switching of the processor cores and frequency adjustment are completed through the frequency governor and the hot-plug control unit. In an implementation, the method can further include the follows after the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core are determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies. Configurations of the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core are applied to processor cores by calling interfaces of the frequency governor and the hot-plug unit.

    [0042] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 2, an apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor is also provided. The apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor includes a processor load detecting unit 102, a required computing-resources calculating unit 104, and a processor-core combination determining unit 106.

    [0043] The processor load detecting unit 102 is configured to detect a current processor load.

    [0044] In embodiments of the present disclosure, the processor involved can be a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), a micro controller unit (MCU), or any combination thereof. Moreover, the processor involved in the embodiments can be a symmetrical multi-core processor or an asymmetric multi-core processor.

    [0045] The processor load depends on the number of processes that are currently processed and the number of processes to be processed by the processor. Generally speaking, the larger the load, the more processing resources are occupied in the processor, that is, the smaller remaining processing ability. In this embodiment, for a plurality of cores of the processor in the terminal, the processor load detecting unit 102 obtains a processor load of each processor core in a current state respectively.

    [0046] The required computing-resources calculating unit 104 is configured to determine required computing resources according to the current processor load. The required "computing resources" correspond to a total frequency of each processor core.

    [0047] The computing resources refer to operating frequencies corresponding to processor cores, Threshold computing resources of a processor core can represent the largest operating frequency at which the processor core operates. In order to support the current processor load, that is, the number of processes and task amount that are processed currently and to be processed by the processor, the operating frequencies of the processor cores need to be ensured.

    [0048] In this embodiment of the present disclosure, the required computing-resources calculating unit 104 determines an operating frequency corresponding to each processor load correspondingly, and then calculate a total operating frequency corresponding to a total processor load. The total operating frequency can refer to computing resources required by all processor loads(in other words, the total processor load), that is, computing resources required to be allocated to the terminal by the processor cores for processing current process or tasks of the terminal.

    [0049] The processor-core combination determining unit 106 is configured to determine the number of processor cores and a frequency of each processor core according to the priori power values of each processor core at specific frequencies, with a total frequency of each processor core conforms to (in other words, satisfying) the computing resources and a total power value of each processor core is minimum.

    [0050] In the embodiments, the processor-core combination determining unit 106 needs to obtain power values of each processor core at different operating frequencies in advance, that is, the processor-core combination determining unit 106 determines a correspondence between operating frequencies and power values of each processor core. In this embodiment, the correspondence can be provided by processor manufactures, or can be experimental results obtained by the terminal in advance. Generally speaking, the operating frequency of the processor core is not proportional to the power value; instead, the operating frequency is exponentially related to the power value. That is, the power value increases exponentially with the increase of the operating frequency.

    [0051] After obtaining the correspondence between operating frequencies and power values of each processor, the processor-core combination determining unit 106 can determine the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core according to the correspondence. For example, we suppose computing resources corresponding to a processor load is 4G, the number of available processor cores is four, and the maximum calculation amount of each processor core is 4G, then for the above-identified requirement of 4G computing resources, four kinds of combinations of processor cores are listed in the following.
    1. 1. a single processor core operates at an operating frequency of 4G.
    2. 2. two processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 2G respectively.
    3. 3. three processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 4/3G respectively.
    4. 4. four processor cores operate at an operating frequency of 1G respectively.


    [0052] All of the above-mentioned four kinds of combinations of the operating numbers and operating frequencies of processor cores can satisfy the current load of the terminal, that is, an overall processing ability of the processor is sufficient. As for the above-mentioned various combinations mode, which one is selected depends on a specific power consumption of a combination. The total power value of each processor core of the combination mode selected will be minimum. That is, the number and the operating frequencies of processor cores selected are capable of resulting a minimum power consumption of the processor.

    [0053] It should be noted that, in this embodiment, the operating frequency of each processor core can be same or different from each other.

    [0054] In an implementation, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the apparatus can further include a frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108. The frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108 is configured to: determine the minimum number of required processor cores according to the current processor load; determine the maximum number of processor cores in a system; determine a selectable range of the number of processor cores according to the minimum number and the maximum number of processor cores; determine a plurality of frequency allocation strategies according to a formula Nc_x Fx=Nc_minFmax. The value of Nc_x is in [Nc_min, Nc_max] ([Nc_min, Nc_max] means integers from Nc_min to Nc_max, including Nc_min and Nc_max), Nc_min refers to the minimum number of required processor cores, Nc_max refers to the maximum number of processor cores in the system, Fmax refers to the maximum frequency of a single processor core, and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core.

    [0055] The processor-core combination determining unit 106 is configured to determine a frequency allocation strategy according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies. The total power value of each processor core corresponding to the frequency allocation strategy determined is minimum.

    [0056] Lc refers to the current processor load and the minimum number of required processor cores corresponding to the load can be determined with the following formula: Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100].

    [0057] For example, when Lc = 20%, the minimum number of required processor cores is one; when Lc = 120%, the minimum number of required processor cores is two.

    [0058] The total number of processor cores in the terminal refers to the maximum number of allowable or available processor cores in the terminal, which is represented by Nc_max in this embodiment. For example, as for a CPU with four cores, Nc_max = four; as for a CPU with eight cores, Nc_max = eight.

    [0059] The frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108 can determine the number of processor cores which can be selected for operation according to the minimum number Nc_min of required processor cores and the maximum number Nc_max of processor cores in the system. For example, when Nc_min = 1 and Nc_max = 8, the number Nc_x of processor cores which can be selected for operation can be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, which are integers in the range [1, 8]. The value of Nc_x ranges from Nc_min to Nc_max (that is, [Nc_min, Nc_max]).

    [0060] The frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108 can determine Nc_min according to the specific value of computing resources calculated by the required computing-resources calculating unit 104 and the largest frequency corresponding to each processor core. Various frequency allocation strategies can be determined according to the formula Nc_xFx=Nc_minFmax. Fmax refers to the maximum frequency of a single processor core and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core. Different combinations of numbers and operating frequencies of the processor cores can be determined based on the values of Nc_x and Fx.

    [0061] In the process of the frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108 determining the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies, a frequency allocation strategy that satisfies the above-mentioned computing resources can be determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies, that is, according to a correspondence between specific operating frequencies and power values of each processor core. In other words, a total operating frequency allocated to the processor cores satisfies the specific value of the above obtained computing resources. Based on this, a frequency allocation strategy with a minimum total power value will be selected. For example, the frequency allocation strategy determining unit 108 can calculate a total power value under each frequency allocation strategy, determine the minimum value of total power values according to the calculated total power values, and select a frequency allocation strategy corresponding to the minimum value. The number and the frequency of operating processor cores of the frequency allocation strategy thus obtained can be a frequency allocation strategy with the lowest power consumption level under the premise of satisfying the current load requirement of the system.

    [0062] In another implementation, the apparatus can further include a single processor core setting unit 110. The single processor core setting unit 110 is configured to set the current processor load to a single processor core, when the minimum number of required processor cores determined according to the current processor load is one and there is no foreground user operation.

    [0063] In general, standby current in a single-core processor mode are less than that in a dual-core or multi-core processor mode, so the single processor core setting unit 110 can set the terminal load to a single processor core where circumstances permit. Specifically, when the determined Nc_min=1, it means that a single processor core is sufficient to carry the current load. In addition, when a user does not perform any foreground operation at present, it indicates that the user does not have a large load requirement on the terminal, therefore, the single processor core setting unit 110 can set the entire current processor load to a single processor to be carried out, that is, the terminal can be turned into a single processor core mode. For example, when the processor is a CPU, the terminal entered a single CPU core mode. By means of the embodiment, the standby current of the terminal can be significantly reduced.

    [0064] In another implementation, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the apparatus can further include a processor configuration applying unit 112. The processor configuration applying unit 110 is configured to apply configurations of the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core to processor cores by calling interfaces of a frequency governor and a hot-plug unit.

    [0065] In this embodiment, the processor configuration applying unit 112 needs to set the processor of the terminal according to the determined number and frequencies of operating processor cores in the processor. In this embodiment, in processor core control of an operating system, a frequency governor is responsible for frequency hopping and voltage regulation of a kernel, and a CPU/GPU hot-plug control unit is responsible for switching of a plurality of processing cores. That is, switching of the processor cores and frequency adjustment are completed through the frequency governor and the hot-plug control unit. In an implementation, the method can further include the follows after the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core are determined according to the priori power values of each processor core at the specific frequencies. Configurations of the number of processor cores and the frequency of each processor core are applied to processor cores by calling interfaces of the frequency governor and the hot-plug unit.

    [0066] By means of the embodiments of the present disclosure, there are the following beneficial effects.

    [0067] By means of the method and the apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, the number and frequencies of operating processor cores are optimized in a range of processor resources allowed by a system according to a current processor load condition of the terminal and minimum computing resources currently required. That is, according to different power consumption parameters corresponding to different combinations of the number and the frequencies of processor cores, an optimal power consumption result can be obtained under the premise that a performance requirement is met. That is, the number and the frequencies of operating processors cores are determined. By means of the method and the apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, the power consumption of the terminal can be reduced under the premise of ensuring performance of a display thread.

    [0068] In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 3, FIG. 3 illustrates a terminal based on a von Neumann system computer system that executes the above-described method for allocating computing resources of a processor. The computer system can be a terminal device such as a smart phone, a tablet computer, a palm computer, a laptop computer, or a personal computer. Specifically, the terminal can include an external input interface 1001, a processor 1002, a memory 1003, and an output interface 1004. The external input interface 1001, the processor 1002, the memory 1003, and the output interface 1004 can be connected through a system bus. In one implementation, the external input interface 1001 can include at least a network interface 10012. The memory 1003 can include an external memory 10032 (such as a hard disk, an optical disk, or a floppy disk, etc.) and an internal memory 10034. The output interface 1004 can include at least a device such as a display screen 10042.

    [0069] In this embodiment, the operation of the method is based on computer programs. Program file of the computer programs is stored in the external memory 10032 of the aforementioned computer system based on the von Neumann system, loaded into the internal memory 10034 when executed, and then passed to the processor 1002 for execution after being compiled into machine code, so that a processor load detecting unit 102, a required computing-resources calculating unit 104, and a processor-core combination determining unit 106 can be formed logically in the computer system based on the von Neumann system. In the execution process of the method for allocating computing resources of a processor, input parameters are all received through the external input interface 1001, transferred to the memory 1003 to be buffered, and then input to the processor 1002 to be processed. The processed result data can be buffered in the memory 1003 for subsequent processing or can be passed to the output interface 1004 for output.

    [0070] The above disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure and the scope of the present disclosure is not limited thereto.


    Claims

    1. A method for allocating computing resources of a processor, comprising:

    detecting (102) a current processor load by:

    obtaining respective processor loads of a plurality of processor cores of the processor in a current state; and

    determining an operating frequency corresponding to each respective processor load;

    determining (104) a total operating frequency required by the respective processor loads to be computing resources required to be allocated to the current processor load;

    obtaining (106) respective power values of each of the plurality of processor cores at different operating frequencies;

    determining a plurality of frequency allocation strategies according to the required computing resources; and

    selecting a frequency allocation strategy for the current processor load from the plurality of frequency allocation strategies, wherein the selected frequency allocation strategy has the lowest power consumption of the plurality of frequency allocation strategies,

    the method further comprising:

    determining a minimum number of required processor cores, Nc_min, according to the current processor load;

    determining a maximum number of processor cores in a system, Nc_max; and

    determining a selectable range of the number of processor cores according to the minimum number and the maximum number of processor cores,

    wherein the plurality of frequency allocation strategies are determined according to a formula Nc_xFx=Nc_minFmax, where the value of Nc_x is in [Nc_min, Nc_max] , Fmax refers to a maximum frequency of a single processor core of the plurality of processor cores, and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core of the plurality of processor cores;

    wherein the determining the minimum number of required processor cores according to the current processor load comprises:

    determining the minimum number of required processor cores according to a formula Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100], where Lc refers to the current processor load.


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein obtaining the respective power values of the plurality of processor cores at different frequencies comprises:

    determining a correspondence between operating frequency and power consumption of each of the plurality of processor cores, wherein power consumption is exponentially related to operating frequency; and

    determining the power values of the plurality of processor cores at the different frequencies according to the correspondence.


     
    3. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after determining the minimum number of required processor cores:
    setting the current processor load to a single processor core of the plurality of processor cores, when the minimum number of required processor cores determined according to the current processor load is one and there is no foreground user operation.
     
    4. The method of claim 3, further comprising, after selecting the frequency allocation strategy:
    applying configurations of the number of processor cores and the frequency of each of the processor cores to the processor cores by calling interfaces of a frequency governor and a hot-plug unit.
     
    5. The method of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the processor cores comprise a central processing unit, CPU, core and a graphics processing unit, GPU, core.
     
    6. An apparatus for allocating computing resources of a processor, comprising:

    a processor load detecting unit (102) configured to:

    obtain respective processor loads of a plurality of processor cores of the processor in a current state;

    determine an operating frequency corresponding to each respective processor load; and

    thereby detect a current processor load;

    a required computing-resources calculating unit (104) configured to determine a total operating frequency required by the respective processor loads to be computing resources required to be allocated to the current processor load;

    a processor-core combination determining unit (106) configured to:

    obtain respective power values of each of the plurality of processor cores at different operating frequencies,

    determine a plurality of frequency allocation strategies according to the required computing resources, and

    select a frequency allocation strategy for the current processor load from the plurality of frequency allocation strategies, wherein the selected frequency allocation strategy has the lowest total power consumption of the plurality of frequency allocation strategies;

    the apparatus further comprising:

    a frequency allocation strategy determining unit (108) configured to:

    determine a minimum number of required processor cores, Nc_min, according to the current processor load;

    determine a maximum number of processor cores in a system, Nc_max;

    determine a selectable range of the number of processor cores according to the minimum number and the maximum number of processor cores; and

    determine the plurality of frequency allocation strategies according to a formula Nc_xFx=Nc_minFmax, where the value of Nc_x is in [Nc_min, Nc_max], Fmax refers to the maximum frequency of a single processor core of the plurality of processor cores, and Fx refers to a frequency allocated to a processor core of the plurality of processor cores,

    wherein the frequency allocation strategy determining unit is configured to determine the minimum number of required processor cores according to a formula Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100], where Lc referring to the current processor load.


     
    7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the processor-core combination determining unit (106) is configured to:

    determine a correspondence between operating frequency and power consumption of each of the plurality of processor cores, wherein the power consumption is exponentially related to operating frequency, and

    determine the power values of the plurality of processor cores at the different frequencies according to the correspondence.


     
    8. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising:
    a single processor core setting unit (110) configured to set the current processor load to a single processor core of the plurality of processor cores, when the minimum number of required processor cores determined according to the current processor load is one and there is no foreground user operation.
     
    9. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising:
    a processor configuration applying unit (112) configured to apply configurations of the number of processor cores and the frequency of each of the processor cores to the processor cores by calling interfaces of a frequency governor and a hot-plug unit.
     
    10. A terminal, comprising:

    a processor (1002); and

    a memory (1003);

    the memory being configured to store computer programs, which when executed, are operable with the processor to execute the method of any of claims 1 to 5.


     
    11. A computer readable storage medium, storing computer programs configured for electronic data interchange, wherein the computer programs, when executed, are operable with a computer to execute the method of any of claims 1 to 5.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Zuweisen von Rechenressourcen eines Prozessors, umfassend:

    Erkennen (102) einer aktuellen Prozessorlast durch:

    Erhalten der jeweiligen Prozessorlasten mehrerer Prozessorkerne des Prozessors in einem aktuellen Zustand; und

    Bestimmen einer Betriebsfrequenz, die jeder jeweiligen Prozessorlast entspricht;

    Bestimmen (104) einer Gesamtbetriebsfrequenz, die von den jeweiligen Prozessorlasten benötigt wird, um Rechenressourcen zu sein, die der aktuellen Prozessorlast zugewiesen werden müssen;

    Erhalten (106) jeweiliger Leistungswerte von jedem der mehreren Prozessorkerne bei unterschiedlichen Betriebsfrequenzen;

    Bestimmen mehrerer Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien gemäß den benötigten Rechenressourcen; und

    Auswählen einer Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie für die aktuelle Prozessorlast aus den mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien, wobei die ausgewählte Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie die niedrigste Leistungsaufnahme der mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien aufweist,

    wobei das Verfahren ferner umfasst:

    Bestimmen einer minimalen Anzahl von benötigten Prozessorkernen, Nc_min , gemäß der aktuellen Prozessorlast;

    Bestimmen einer maximalen Anzahl von Prozessorkernen in einem System, Nc_max; und

    Bestimmen eines auswählbaren Bereichs der Anzahl der Prozessorkerne gemäß der minimalen Anzahl und der maximalen Anzahl der Prozessorkerne,

    wobei die mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien gemäß einer Formel Nc_xFx = Nc_minFmax bestimmt werden,

    wobei der Wert von Nc_x in [Nc_min,Nc_max] liegt, Fmax sich auf eine maximale Frequenz eines einzelnen Prozessorkerns der mehreren Prozessorkerne bezieht, und Fx sich auf eine einem Prozessorkern der mehreren Prozessorkerne zugewiesene Frequenz bezieht;

    wobei das Bestimmen der minimalen Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne gemäß der aktuellen Prozessorlast umfasst: Bestimmen der minimalen Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne gemäß einer Formel Nc_min = [(Lc + 100)/100],

    wobei sich Lc auf die aktuelle Prozessorlast bezieht.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Erhalten der jeweiligen Leistungswerte der mehreren Prozessorkerne bei unterschiedlichen Frequenzen umfasst:

    Bestimmen einer Entsprechung zwischen der Betriebsfrequenz und der Leistungsaufnahme jedes der mehreren Prozessorkerne, wobei die Leistungsaufnahme exponentiell mit der Betriebsfrequenz in Beziehung steht; und

    Bestimmen der Leistungswerte der mehreren Prozessorkerne bei den verschiedenen Frequenzen gemäß der Entsprechung.


     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend, nach dem Bestimmen der minimalen Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne:
    Einstellen der aktuellen Prozessorlast auf einen einzelnen Prozessorkern der mehreren Prozessorkerne, wenn die gemäß der aktuellen Prozessorlast bestimmte minimale Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne eins ist und keine Benutzeroperation im Vordergrund stattfindet.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 3, ferner umfassend, nach dem Auswählen der Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie:
    Anwenden von Konfigurationen der Anzahl von Prozessorkernen und der Frequenz jedes der Prozessorkerne auf die Prozessorkerne durch Aufrufen von Schnittstellen eines Frequenzreglers und einer Hot-Plug-Einheit.
     
    5. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die Prozessorkerne einen CPU-Kern (Central Processing Unit) und einen GPU-Kern (Graphics Processing Unit) umfassen.
     
    6. Vorrichtung zum Zuweisen von Rechenressourcen eines Prozessors, umfassend:

    eine Prozessorlast-Erkennungseinheit (102), die dazu ausgelegt ist:

    jeweilige Prozessorlasten mehrerer Prozessorkerne des Prozessors in einem aktuellen Zustand zu erhalten;

    eine Betriebsfrequenz zu bestimmen, die jeder jeweiligen Prozessorlast entspricht; und

    dadurch eine aktuelle Prozessorlast zu erkennen;

    eine benötigte Rechenressourcen-Berechnungseinheit (104), die dazu ausgelegt ist, eine Gesamtbetriebsfrequenz zu bestimmen, die von den jeweiligen Prozessorlasten benötigt wird, um Rechenressourcen zu sein, die der aktuellen Prozessorlast zugewiesen werden müssen;

    eine Bestimmungseinheit (106) für die Prozessorkernkombination, die dazu ausgelegt ist:

    jeweilige Leistungswerte von jedem der mehreren Prozessorkerne bei unterschiedlichen Betriebsfrequenzen zu erhalten,

    mehrerer Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien gemäß den benötigten Rechenressourcen zu bestimmen, und

    eine Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie für die aktuelle Prozessorlast aus den mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien auszuwählen, wobei die ausgewählte Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie die niedrigste Leistungsaufnahme der mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien aufweist;

    wobei die Vorrichtung ferner umfasst:
    eine Bestimmungseinheit (108) für die Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie, die dazu ausgelegt ist:

    eine minimale Anzahl von benötigten Prozessorkernen, Nc_min, gemäß der aktuellen Prozessorlast zu bestimmen;

    eine maximale Anzahl von Prozessorkernen in einem System, Nc_max zu bestimmen;

    einen auswählbaren Bereich der Anzahl der Prozessorkerne gemäß der minimalen Anzahl und der maximalen Anzahl der Prozessorkerne zu bestimmen; und

    die mehreren Frequenzzuweisungsstrategien gemäß einer Formel Nc_xFx = Nc_minFmax zu bestimmen, wobei der Wert von Nc_x in [Nc_min,Nc_max] liegt, Fmax sich auf die maximale Frequenz eines einzelnen Prozessorkerns der mehreren Prozessorkerne bezieht, und Fx sich auf eine einem Prozessorkern der mehreren Prozessorkerne zugewiesene Frequenz bezieht,

    wobei die Bestimmungseinheit für die Frequenzzuweisungsstrategie dazu ausgelegt ist, die minimale Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne gemäß einer Formel Nc_min = [(Lc + 100)/100] zu bestimmen, wobei sich Lc auf die aktuelle Prozessorlast bezieht.


     
    7. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, wobei die Bestimmungseinheit (106) für die Prozessorkernkombination dazu ausgelegt ist:

    eine Entsprechung zwischen der Betriebsfrequenz und der Leistungsaufnahme jedes der mehreren Prozessorkerne zu bestimmen, wobei die Leistungsaufnahme exponentiell mit der Betriebsfrequenz in Beziehung steht, und

    die Leistungswerte der mehreren Prozessorkerne bei den verschiedenen Frequenzen gemäß der Entsprechung zu bestimmen.


     
    8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, ferner umfassend:
    eine Einstelleinheit (110) für einen einzelnen Prozessorkern, die dazu ausgelegt ist, die aktuelle Prozessorlast auf einen einzelnen Prozessorkern aus mehreren Prozessorkernen einzustellen, wenn die gemäß der aktuellen Prozessorlast bestimmte minimale Anzahl der benötigten Prozessorkerne eins ist und keine Benutzeroperation im Vordergrund stattfindet.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, ferner umfassend:
    eine Prozessorkonfigurationsanwendungseinheit (112), die dazu ausgelegt ist, Konfigurationen der Anzahl von Prozessorkernen und der Frequenz jedes der Prozessorkerne auf die Prozessorkerne durch Aufrufen von Schnittstellen eines Frequenzreglers und einer Hot-Plug-Einheit anzuwenden.
     
    10. Endgerät, umfassend:

    einen Prozessor (1002), und

    einen Speicher (1003);

    der Speicher dazu ausgelegt ist, Computerprogramme zu speichern, die, wenn sie ausgeführt werden, mit dem Prozessor betreibbar sind, um das Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 auszuführen.


     
    11. Computerlesbares Speichermedium, das Computerprogramme speichert, die für den elektronischen Datenaustausch ausgelegt sind, wobei die Computerprogramme, wenn sie ausgeführt werden, mit einem Computer betreibbar sind, um das Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5 auszuführen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé d'attribution de ressources de calcul d'un processeur, comprenant :

    la détection (102) d'une charge de processeur actuelle par :

    l'obtention de charges de processeur respectives d'une pluralité de cœurs de processeur du processeur dans un état actuel ; et

    la détermination d'une fréquence de fonctionnement correspondant à chaque charge de processeur respective ;

    la détermination (104) d'une fréquence de fonctionnement totale requise par les charges de processeur respectives afin qu'elles soient des ressources de calcul requises à attribuer à la charge de processeur actuelle ;

    l'obtention (106) de valeurs de puissance respectives de chacun de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur à différentes fréquences de fonctionnement ;

    la détermination d'une pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence en fonction des ressources de calcul requises ; et

    la sélection d'une stratégie d'attribution de fréquence pour la charge de processeur actuelle parmi la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence, dans lequel la stratégie d'attribution de fréquence sélectionnée présente la consommation d'énergie la plus faible de la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence,

    le procédé comprenant en outre :

    la détermination d'un nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis, Nc_min, en fonction de la charge de processeur actuelle ;

    la détermination d'un nombre maximum de cœurs de processeur dans un système, Nc_max ; et

    la détermination d'une plage sélectionnable du nombre de cœurs de processeur en fonction du nombre minimum et du nombre maximum de cœurs de processeur,

    dans lequel la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence est déterminée conformément à une formule Nc_x*Fx=Nc_min*Fmax, où la valeur de Nc_x est comprise dans [Nc_min, Nc_max], Fmax désigne une fréquence maximale d'un cœur de processeur unique de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, et Fx désigne une fréquence attribuée à un cœur de processeur de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur ;

    dans lequel la détermination du nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis en fonction de la charge de processeur actuelle comprend :
    la détermination du nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis conformément à une formule Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100],Lc désigne la charge de processeur actuelle.


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'obtention des valeurs de puissance respectives de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur à différentes fréquences comprend :

    la détermination d'une correspondance entre la fréquence de fonctionnement et la consommation d'énergie de chacun de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, dans lequel la consommation d'énergie est liée de manière exponentielle à la fréquence de fonctionnement ; et

    la détermination des valeurs de puissance de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur aux différentes fréquences en fonction de la correspondance.


     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre, après la détermination du nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis :
    le réglage de la charge de processeur actuelle sur un cœur de processeur unique de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, lorsque le nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis déterminé en fonction de la charge de processeur actuelle est égal à un et qu'il n'y a pas d'opération d'utilisateur au premier plan.
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 3, comprenant en outre, après la sélection de la stratégie d'attribution de fréquence :
    l'application de configurations du nombre de cœurs de processeur et de la fréquence de chacun des cœurs de processeur aux cœurs de processeur en appelant des interfaces d'un gouverneur de fréquence et d'une unité de branchement à chaud.
     
    5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel les cœurs de processeur comprennent un cœur d'unité centrale de traitement, CPU, et un cœur d'unité de traitement graphique, GPU.
     
    6. Appareil d'attribution de ressources de calcul d'un processeur, comprenant :

    une unité de détection de charge de processeur (102) configurée pour :

    obtenir des charges de processeur respectives d'une pluralité de cœurs de processeur du processeur dans un état actuel ;

    déterminer une fréquence de fonctionnement correspondant à chaque charge de processeur respective ; et

    détecter ainsi une charge de processeur actuelle ;

    une unité de calcul de ressources de calcul requises (104) configurée pour déterminer une fréquence de fonctionnement totale requise par les charges de processeur respectives afin qu'elles soient des ressources de calcul requises à attribuer à la charge de processeur actuelle ;

    une unité de détermination de combinaison processeur-cœur (106) configurée pour :

    obtenir des valeurs de puissance respectives de chacun de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur à différentes fréquences de fonctionnement,

    déterminer une pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence en fonction des ressources de calcul requises, et

    sélectionner une stratégie d'attribution de fréquence pour la charge de processeur actuelle à partir de la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence, dans lequel la stratégie d'attribution de fréquence sélectionnée présente la consommation d'énergie totale la plus faible de la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence ;

    l'appareil comprenant en outre :
    une unité de détermination de stratégie d'attribution de fréquence (108) configurée pour :

    déterminer un nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis, Nc_min, en fonction de la charge de processeur actuelle ;

    déterminer un nombre maximum de cœurs de processeur dans un système, Nc_max ;

    déterminer une plage sélectionnable du nombre de cœurs de processeur en fonction du nombre minimum et du nombre maximum de cœurs de processeur ; et

    déterminer la pluralité de stratégies d'attribution de fréquence selon une formule Nc_x*Fx=Nc_min*Fmax, où la valeur de Nc_x est comprise dans [Nc_min, Nc_max], Fmax désigne la fréquence maximale d'un cœur de processeur unique de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, et Fx désigne une fréquence attribuée à un cœur de processeur de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur,

    dans lequel l'unité de détermination de stratégie d'attribution de fréquence est configurée pour déterminer le nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis conformément à une formule Nc_min=[(Lc+100)/100],Lc désigne la charge de processeur actuelle.


     
    7. Appareil selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'unité de détermination de combinaison processeur-cœur (106) est configurée pour :

    déterminer une correspondance entre la fréquence de fonctionnement et la consommation d'énergie de chacun de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, dans lequel la consommation d'énergie est liée de manière exponentielle à la fréquence de fonctionnement, et

    déterminer les valeurs de puissance de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur aux différentes fréquences en fonction de la correspondance.


     
    8. Appareil selon la revendication 6, comprenant en outre :
    une unité de réglage de cœur de processeur unique (110) configurée pour régler la charge de processeur actuelle sur un cœur de processeur unique de la pluralité de cœurs de processeur, lorsque le nombre minimum de cœurs de processeur requis déterminé en fonction de la charge de processeur actuelle est égal à un et qu'il n'y a pas d'opération d'utilisateur au premier plan.
     
    9. Appareil selon la revendication 6, comprenant en outre :
    une unité d'application de configuration de processeur (112) configurée pour appliquer des configurations du nombre de cœurs de processeur et de la fréquence de chacun des cœurs de processeur aux cœurs de processeur en appelant des interfaces d'un gouverneur de fréquence et d'une unité de branchement à chaud.
     
    10. Terminal, comprenant :

    un processeur (1002) ; et

    une mémoire (1003) ;

    la mémoire étant configurée pour stocker des programmes informatiques qui, lorsqu'ils sont exécutés, sont utilisables avec le processeur pour mettre en œuvre le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5.


     
    11. Support de stockage lisible par ordinateur, stockant des programmes informatiques configurés pour un échange de données électroniques, dans lequel les programmes informatiques, lorsqu'ils sont exécutés, sont utilisables avec un ordinateur pour mettre en œuvre le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description