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A Big Leap Toward Lowering the Power Consumption of Microprocessors

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University of Texas at Austin

Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin researchers have developed systematic power profiles of microprocessors, which they say could help lower the energy consumption of both small cell phones and giant data centers.

The researchers say the results could help companies such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft make software and hardware that will lower the energy costs of very small and very large devices.

"The less power cell phones draw, the longer the battery will last," says University of Texas at Austin professor Kathryn McKinley. "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."

She says the future of software and hardware design involves power profiles becoming a consideration at every stage of the process. "In the past, we optimized only for performance," McKinley says. "If you were picking between two software algorithms, or chips, or devices, you picked the faster one."

She notes that there are still applications in which speed remains the primary consideration. However, she says "there are a lot of other areas where you really want to consider the power usage."

From University of Texas at Austin 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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