[ntp:questions] drift modeling question

Hal Murray hal-usenet at ip-64-139-1-69.sjc.megapath.net
Sun Jul 13 08:21:54 UTC 2008

>Correct, in that the linear correction will vary with temperature (and 
>could be matched closely by a quadratic)

I don't think you can measure the temperature and/or drift accurately
enough to make quadratic corrections interesting.

>I am thinking of a least-squares fit to the drift data, versus 
>temperature.  Another poster mentioned that we really need temperature of 
>the crystal, I agree, but there should be strong correlation between that 
>(unknown) temperature and the motherboard or processor chip temperatures.

Years ago, I tried to measure things.

Most PCs have 2 xtals.  One at 14.xxx MHz (cheap, 4X color burst)
that drives the CPU and most motherboard logic through a magic clock
generator (PLL) chip, and another that is a 32 KHz watch crystal for
keeping time when the CPU is off.  The latter also makes interrupts
for the scheduler.

I had the temperature probe on the 14 MHz xtal.  It didn't work very well.

I was assuming that the system used something like a cycle counter
(TSC) for timekeeping.  That has troubles in multi-CPU systems.
The code I was actually running used the timer interrupts for
timekeeping and the TSC to interpolate between ticks.

Things got a lot better when I moved the probe to the 32 KHz xtal which
was in a corner of the board far from the CPU.

Here are a couple of graphs:

Again, read Mark Martinec's web page.  He's got a lot of good

These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's.  I hate spam.

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