Loc Truong, EETimes
EEtimes (6/28/2011 3:01 PM EDT)
Energy consumption is becoming more of a concern as it is receiving an increasingly larger percentage of the overall operating costs. Imagine superstores with lines and lines of check-out lanes, each with a cash register, a credit-card reader, a scanner and a weight measuring station.
It is a waste if these equipments are not designed to be energy efficient with abilities to power down between customers or during non-operating hours. When multiplied by the number of stores, the number of cities and the operating life of the product, the total accumulated portion of the energy bill that could be saved is in the millions of dollars.
Many of today’s operating systems, like Linux, come with power management support. The features have been available on the mainstream kernel since Linux made headways to lower power portable devices like smart phones, tablets and ebook readers. So even though your design is a plugged-in appliance, you can embrace the “go green” initiative from the ground up by taking advantage of the power management features that are already in place and incorporate them.
In this article I will first review power savings techniques available with today’s powered (i.e. plugged-in) system-on-chip (SoC)-based embedded systems and quickly move on to the discussion of how two operating systems (OSes), each with its own power methodologies, can cooperate at the system level to provide power management services.
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