Mike Micheletti, LeCroy
11/9/2010 5:05 PM EST
USB 3.0 offers new opportunities to boost battery life for both host and endpoint functions thanks to comprehensive power management features that operate autonomously at the hardware level.
The desire to extend battery life in the fast growing mobile computing market has placed a new spotlight on power management within portable systems. Developers of laptops, netbooks, smart phones, and tablets now scrutinize every amp of power usage at the system level in their drive for better power efficiency. The introduction of USB 3.0 brings new opportunities to boost battery life for both host and endpoint functions thanks to comprehensive power-management features that operate autonomously at the hardware level.
Designed to overcome the drawbacks of the Advanced Power Management (APM) model, the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface, or ACPI, was introduced in 1997. The specification brings some level of power awareness to the BIOS, system hardware and software. ACPI relies on tables in the BIOS to define the power modes for individual peripherals. The operating system then uses these definitions to decide when to switch a device, or the entire system, from one power state to another. USB 2.0 has supported this software-based approach relying on suspend-resume commands to place the universal serial bus in a power-reduced state. However, these ACPI-based implementations have been plagued by stability and latency issues.
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