Long-lasting laptop batteries

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According to an article published this week in Technology Review, Intel's new integrated power manager could significantly reduce the power consumption of notebooks by stopping functions that are not being used.

Anyone using a laptop on an airplane would like the battery to last a long-haul flight. Now, Intel researchers believe they can double the battery life of a laptop without modifying the battery itself, optimizing the power manager of the operating system, monitor, mouse, motherboard chips and devices connected to ports. USB.

Manufacturers and researchers have been researching different ways to make laptops more energy efficient. Operating systems have been programmed to run a power saving screensaver and hibernate an entire system if the user has not used it for a while. And even Intel's upcoming Atom mobile microprocessor can hibernate at up to six different levels, depending on what kind of tasks it has to do.

But the problem with all these approaches is that they are not coordinated across the device. Intel's new prototype power management system is aware of the power used by all parts of the laptop, in addition to the power needs of a person's activity, and disables functions accordingly, says Greg Allison, director of business development. The project, called "advanced platform power management," was unveiled Wednesday at an Intel event in Mountain View, California.

The Intel system saves power, for example, by taking a screenshot of the screen that the user is reading and buffering it. thus, instead of updating the screen from time to time, it maintains the same image until the person presses a key or moves the mouse. Similarly, the mouse and keyboard remain in hibernation until they are used.

Meanwhile, the operating system will monitor the use of other applications, restricting the operation of those that are not being actively used; and if there is any device connected to a USB port, such as a flash memory, the system would also put it to hibernate. At the same time, Allison explains, the power monitoring circuitry of Intel chips would hibernate the parts of the microprocessor that are not being used. It takes just 50 milliseconds to wake up the entire system, he adds, an amount of time that is imperceptible to the user.

Source: Technology Review

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