Minimising cellphone power consumption possible

January 22nd, 2012 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) Minimising power consumption of both small cell phones and giant data centres may now be possible, thanks to the first ever systematic power profile study.

Their results may point the way to how companies like Google, Apple, Intel and Microsoft can make software and hardware to lower energy costs of very small and very large devices.

“The less power cell phones draw, the longer the battery will last,” says Kathryn McKinley, professor of computer science at The University of Texas at Austin, the journal IEEE Micro reports.

“For companies like Google and Microsoft, which run these enormous data centres, there is a big incentive to find ways to be more power efficient, according to a Texas university statement.

“More and more of the money they’re spending isn’t going toward buying the hardware, but toward the power the data centres draw,” she said.

McKinley says that without detailed power profiles of how microprocessors function with different software and different chip architectures, companies are limited in terms of how well they can optimize for energy usage.

“Say you want to get an application on your phone that’s GPS-based,” says McKinley, “In terms of energy, the GPS is one of the most expensive functions on your phone.

“A bad algorithm might ping your GPS far more than is necessary for the application to function well. If the application writer could analyze the power profile, they would be motivated to write an algorithm that pings it half as often to save energy without compromising functionality.”

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