Minimizing Power Consumption by Personal Computers: A Technical Survey

Full Text (PDF, 401KB), PP.57-66

Views: 0 Downloads: 0


P. K. Gupta 1,* G. Singh 2

1. Department of Computer Science and Engineering & IT, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan-173 234, India

2. Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan-173 234, India

* Corresponding author.


Received: 18 Jan. 2012 / Revised: 10 May 2012 / Accepted: 4 Jul. 2012 / Published: 8 Sep. 2012

Index Terms

CPU Usage, Dynamic Power Management, Operating Systems, Personal Computers, Power Consumption


Recently, the demand of “Green Computing”, which represents an environmentally responsible way of reducing power consumption, and involves various environmental issues such as waste management and greenhouse gases is increasing explosively. We have laid great emphasis on the need to minimize power consumption and heat dissipation by computer systems, as well as the requirement for changing the current power scheme options in their operating systems (OS). In this paper, we have provided a comprehensive technical review of the existing, though challenging, work on minimizing power consumption by computer systems, by utilizing various approaches, and emphasized on the software approach by making use of dynamic power management as it is used by most of the OSs in their power scheme configurations, seeking a better understanding of the power management schemes and current issues, and future directions in this field. Herein, we review the various approaches and techniques, including hardware, software, the central processing unit (CPU) usage and algorithmic approaches for power economy. On the basis of analysis and observations, we found that this area still requires a lot of work, and needs to be focused towards some new intelligent approaches so that human inactivity periods for computer systems could be reduced intelligently.

Cite This Paper

P. K. Gupta, G. Singh, "Minimizing Power Consumption by Personal Computers: A Technical Survey", International Journal of Information Technology and Computer Science(IJITCS), vol.4, no.10, pp.57-66, 2012. DOI:10.5815/ijitcs.2012.10.07


[1]Sukhdeep Singh Sandhu, Arushi Rawal, Prabhjot Kaur, Niyati Gupta, “Major Components Associated with Green Networking in Information Communication Technology Systems” Proc. International Conference on Computing, Communication and applications (ICCCA), India, 2012, pp. 1-6.

[2]Green Facts, Available from: 

[3]David Allaway, “Computers and Monitors: When should I turn them off?”, Fact sheet, Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon, Aug 2002, pp. 1 – 2.

[4]Jonathan G. Koomey, Timothy Oey and Eric Bergman, “The economics of cycling personal computers,’’ Energy Policy by Elsevier, vol. 21, no. 9, September 1993.

[5]Manfred Grisebach, “Hardware: Power Consumption”, IST – Systems, University of Waterloo, Aug 20th 2003. Available from:

[6]University of Nebraska Omaha, “Technology Guidelines for Going Green”, 2010, pp. 1 – 9.

[7]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency Public Law 109-431”, Aug 2, 2007, pp.1 – 133.

[8]Steven Sinofsky, “Improving power efficiency for applications”, MSDN Blog, Feb 2012.

[9]Mary Jo Foley, “Windows server still rules the server roots” IDC, June 3, 2010.

[10]Mike Jager, “Why Windows power policies are not enough for effective power management”, December 2011.

[11]Dam Sunwoo, Hassan Al-Sukhni, Jim Holt and Derek Chiou, “Early Models for System-level Power Estimation”, Proceedings of IEEE Eighth International Workshop on Microprocessor Test and Verification, 2008, pp. 8 – 14.

[12]Sudhanva Gurumurthi, Anand Sivasubramaniam, Mary Jane, Irwin N., Vijaykrishnan and Mahmut Kandemir, “Using Complete Machine Simulation for Software Power Estimation: The SoftWatt Approach”, Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA.02), 2002, pp. 1 – 10.

[13]Changjiu Xian, Le Cai, and Yung-Hsiang Lu, “power Measurement of Software Programs on Computers with Multiple I/O Components”, IEEE Transactions On Instrumentation And Measurement, vol. 56, no. 5, October 2007, pp. 2079 – 2086.

[14]Yung-Hsiang Lu, Giovanni De Micheli, “Comparing System-Level Power Management Policies”, IEEE Design and Test, 2001, pp. 10 – 19.

[15]Gary Cameron, “Baseline Measurement of Software Driven Power Consumption”, Proceedings of Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (IMTC), Ottawa, Canada, 2005, pp. 2088 – 2090. 

[16]V. Tiwari, S. Malik, A. Wolfe, and M. T.-C. Lee, “Power analysis of embedded software: A first step towards software power minimization,” IEEE Trans. Very Large Scale Integr. (VLSI) System, vol. 2, no. 4, Dec. 1994, pp. 437– 445. 

[17]Theodore Laopoulos, Senior Member, IEEE, Periklis Neofotistos, C. A. Kosmatopoulos, and Spiridon Nikolaidis, “Measurement of Current Variations for the Estimation of Software-Related Power Consumption”, IEEE Transactions On Instrumentation And Measurement, vol. 52, no. 4, August 2003, pp. 1206 – 1212.

[18]M. T.-C. Lee, V. Tiwari, S. Malik, and M. Fujita, “Power analysis and minimization techniques for embedded DSP software,” IEEE Trans. VLSI Syst., no. 1, Mar. 1997, pp. 123–135.

[19]Vivek Tiwari Ryan Donnelly, Sharad Malik Ricardo Gonaalea, “Dynamic Power Management for Microprocessors: A Case Study”, Proceedings of IEEE I0th International Conference on VLSI Design, January 1997, pp. 185 – 192. 

[20]Saumya Chandra, Kanishka Lahiri, Anand Raghunathan, and Sujit Dey, “Variation-Aware System-Level Power Analysis”, IEEE Transactions On Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, vol. 18, no. 8, August 2010, pp. 1173 – 1184.

[21]Saraju P. Mohanty, N. Ranganathan and Sunil K. Chappidi, “Peak Power Minimization Through Datapath Scheduling”, Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI’03), 2003, pp. 1 – 6.

[22]Coleman D. Bagwell Emil Jovanov Jeffery H. Kulick, “A Dynamic Power Profiling of Embedded Computer Systems”, IEEE Proceedings of Thirty – Fourth South-eastern Symposium on Systemm Theory, 2002, pp. 15 – 19. 

[23]Daisuke Miyakawa, Yutaka Ishikawa, “Process Oriented Power Management”, Proceedings of IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Embedded Systems, 2007, pp. 1 – 8.

[24]Luca Benini, Alessandro Bogliolo, and Giovanni De Micheli, “A Survey of Design Techniques for System-Level Dynamic Power Management”, IEEE Transactions On Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, vol. 8, no. 3, June 2000, pp. 299 – 316.

[25]Keqin Li, “Performance Analysis Of Power-Aware Task Scheduling Algorithms On Multiprocessor Computers With Dynamic Voltage And Speed”, IEEE Transactions On Parallel And Distributed Systems, vol. 19, no. 11, November 2008, pp. 1484 – 1497.

[26]Luca Benini, Alessandro Bogliolo, Giuseppe A. Paleologo, and Giovanni De Micheli, “Policy Optimization for Dynamic Power Management”, IEEE Transactions On Computer-Aided Design Of Integrated Circuits And Systems, vol. 18, no. 6, June 1999, pp. 813 – 834. 

[27]Q. Jiang, H.S. Xi and B.Q. Yin, “Adaptive optimisation of timeout policy for dynamic power management based on semi-Markov control processes”, IET Control Theory and Applications, vol. 4, no. 10, 2010, pp. 1945 – 1958. 

[28]Kai Huang, Luca Santinelli, Jian-Jia Chen, Lothar Thiele, Giorgio C. Buttazzo, “Adaptive Power Management for Real-Time Event Streams”, Proceedings of IEEE 15th Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, 2010, pp. 7 – 12. 

[29]Simunic T., Benini L., Glynn P. and De Micheli G., “Event-driven power management”, IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 20, no. 7, 2001, pp. 840–857. 

[30]Qiu Q., Wu Q. and Pedram M., “Stochastic modeling of a power-managed system–construction and optimisation”, IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 20, no. 10, 2001, pp. 1200–1217. 

[31]Sesic A., Dautovic S. and Malbasa V., “Dynamic power management of a system with a two-priority request queue using probabilistic-model checking”, IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 27, no. 2, 2008, pp. 403–407.

[32]Ali Abbasian, Safar Hatami, Ali Afzali-Kusha, Mehrdad Nourani and Caro Lucas, “Event-Driven Dynamic Power Management Based On Wavelet Forecasting Theory” Proceedings of the 2004 International Symposium on Circuits and Systems ISCAS, 2004, pp. 325 – 328. 

[33]Chi-Hong Hwang and Allen C.H. Wu, “A Predictive System Shutdown Method for Energy Saving of Event-Driven Computation”, ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems, vol. 5, no. 2, April 2000, pp. 226–241.

[34]M. B. Srivastava, A. P. Chandrakasan, and R. W. Brodersen. Predictive System Shutdown and Other Architecture Techniques for Energy Efficient Programmable Computation. IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, vol. 4, no. 1, March 1996, pp. 42-55.

[35]Yung-Hsiang Lu, Tajana hnwziC, Giovanni De Micheli, “Software Controlled Power Management” CODES '99 Proceedings of the seventh international workshop on Hardware/software codesign, 1999, pp. 157 – 161.

[36]Shengquan Wang, Jun Liu, Jian-Jia Chen, and Xue Liu, “Power Sleep: A Smart Power -Saving Scheme with Sleep for ServersUnder Response Time Constraint”, IEEE Journal On Emerging And Selected Topics In Circuits And Systems, vol. 1, no. 3, September 2011, pp. 289 – 298.

[37]Mahasweta Sarkar and Rene L Cruz, “An Adaptive “Sleep” Algorithm for Efficient Power management in WLANs”, Vehicular Technology Conference, vol. 3, June 2005, pp. 2101 – 2104.

[38]Eiji Hirao, Shigeyuki Miyamoto, Masahiro Hasegawa, and Hiroo Harada, “Power Consumption Monitoring System for Personal Computers by Analyzing Their Operating States” , 4th international symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, 2005, pp. 268 – 272.

[39]Chia-Hung Lien, Ying-Wen Bai, and Ming-Bo Lin, “Estimation by Software for the Power Consumption of Streaming Media Servers”, IEEE Transactions On Instrumentation And Measurement, vol. 56, no. 5, October 2007, pp. 1859 – 1870.

[40]P. Bohrer, E. Elnozahy, T. Keller,M. Kistler, C. Lefurgy, C.McDowell, and R. Rajamony, “The case for power management in web servers,” Power Aware Computing, 2002, pp. 261–289.

[41]Gary Cameron, “Modeling Software Driven Power Consumption”, Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (IMTC), Ottawa, Canada, May 2005, pp. 2082 – 2087. 

[42]Yongpan Chen, Xianmin Mu, Jili Zhang, Zhen Lu, Jinxing Ma, “The Software Subsystem of Building Power Consumption Monitoring and Management System”, Power and Energy Engineering Conference (APPEEC), 2010, pp. 1 – 4.

[43]Qian Diao and Justin Song, “Prediction of CPU Idle-Busy Activity Pattern”, Proceedings of IEEE 14th International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture, 2008, pp. 27 – 36. 

[44]Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Phoenix Technologies Ltd. and Toshiba Corporation, “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface Specification”, Rev – 5, December 2011, pp. 1 – 958. 

[45]Soo-Cheol Oh and Seong-Woon Kim, “Reducing CPU Power Cost of Cluster System”,Proceedings of IEEE ICACT, 2008, pp. 2076 – 2079.

[46]Jaideep Moses, Ramesh Illikkal, Ravi Iyer, Ram Huggahalli and Don Newell, “ASPEN: Towards Effective Simulation of Threads & Engines in Evolving Platforms”, Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society’s 12th Annual International Symposium on Modelling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunications Systems (MASCOTS’04), 2004, pp. 1 – 8.

[47]Frances Yao Alan Demers Scott Shenker, “A Scheduling Model for Reduced CPU Energy”, Proceedings of IEEE 36th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, 1995, pp. 374 – 382.

[48]Luca Benini Alessandro Bogliolo Stefan and Cavallucci Bruno Ricco, “Monitoring System Activity for OS-Directed Dynamic Power Management”, Proceedings of International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, 1998, pp. 185 – 190.

[49]Catalin Dumitrescu and Ian Foster, “Usage Policy-based CPU Sharing in Virtual Organizations”, Proceedings of the Fifth IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Grid Computing (GRID’04), 2004, pp. 1 – 8.

[50]Dibakar Das and Debabrata Das, “Back-off Algorithm Based Power Saving Mechanism in a Multi-RAT UE” Proceedings of IEEE 5th conference on Internet Multimedia Systems Architecture and Application (IMSAA), 2011, pp. 1 – 6.

[51]David Meisner, Brian T. Gold and Thomas F. Wenisch, “PowerNap: Eliminating Server Idle Power”, Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, ACM, 2009, pp. 1 – 12.

[52]Keng-Mao Cho, Chun-Hung Liang, Jun-Ying Huang, Chu-Shing Yang, “Design And Implementation of A General Purpose Power - Saving Scheduling Algorithm For Embedded Systems”, IEEE Conference on Signal Processing, Communications and Computing (ICSPCC), 2011, pp. 1 – 6.

[53]Jong-Phil Kim, Doo-Hwan Kim, Jang-Eui Hong, “Estimating Power Consumption of Mobile Embedded Software Based on Behavioral Model”, Proceedings of International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), 2010, pp. 105 – 106.

[54]Shan Li, Edmund M-K. Lai, Mohammed Javed Absar, “Minimizing Embedded Software Power Consumption through Reduction of Data Memory Access”, Proceedings of ICICS, December 2003, pp. 309 – 313.

[55]Tiefei Zhang, Ying-Jheng Chen, Che-Wei Chang, Chuan-Yue Yang, Tei-Wei Kuo and Tianzhou Chen, “Power Management Strategies in Data Transmission”, Proceedings of IEEE16th Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, 2011, pp. 668 – 675.

[56]J. Zhuo and C. Chakrabarti, “Energy-efficient dynamic task scheduling algorithms for DVS systems,” ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems, vol. 7, no. 2, Article no. 17, 2008. 

[57]Keqin Li, “Performance Optimization with Energy Constraint in Heterogeneous Multiple Computer System”, IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium, 2011, pp. 1930 – 1939.

[58]Osman S. Unsal and Israel Koren, “System-Level Power-Aware Design Techniques in Real-Time Systems”, Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 91, no. 7, July 2003, pp. 1053 – 1069.

[59]D. Shin and J. Kim, “Power-aware scheduling of conditional task graphs in real-time multiprocessor systems,” Proceedings of the International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, 2003, pp. 408-413. 

[60]Keqin Li, “Performance analysis of power-aware task scheduling algorithms on multiprocessor computers with dynamic voltage and speed,” IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 19, no. 11, 2008, pp. 1484-1497.

[61]EPA Energy Star, “EZ GPO: Software tool for power management pledge”, Available from: 

[62]Jason Flinn and M. Satyanarayanan, “PowerScope: A Tool for Profiling the Energy Usage of Mobile Applications”, Proceedings of Second IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, 1999, pp. 1 – 9.

[63]Kutty S Banerjee Emmanuel Agu, “PowerSpy: Fine-Grained Software Energy Profiling for Mobile Devices”, Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Wireless Networks, Communications and Mobile Computing, 2005, pp. 1136 – 1141.

[64]Don Ngo, Naveed Hussain, Mahbub Hassan and Jim Wu, “WANMon: A Resource Usage Monitoring Tool for Ad Hoc Wireless Networks”, Proceedings of the 28th Annual IEEE International Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN’03), 2003, pp. 1 – 8.

[65]P. K. Gupta and G. Singh, “A Framework of Creating Intelligent Power Profiles in Operating Systems to Minimize Power Consumption and Greenhouse Effect Caused by Computer Systems," Journal of Green Engineering, vol. 01, no. 2, Jan- 2011, pp 145 – 163.