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Energy conservation without performance degradation is an important goal for battery-operated computers, such as laptops and hand-held assistants. We study application-supported device management for optimizing energy and performance. In particular, we consider application transformations that increase device idle times and inform the operating system about the length of each upcoming, period of idleness. We use modeling and experimentation to assess the potential energy and performance benefits of this type of application support for a laptop disk. Furthermore, we propose and evaluate a compiler framework for performing the transformations automatically. Our main modeling results show that the transformations are potentially beneficial. However, our experimental results with six real laptop applications demonstrate that, unless applications are transformed, they cannot accrue any of the predicted benefits. In addition, they show that our compiler can produce almost the same performance and energy results as hand-modifying applications. Overall, we find that the transformations can reduce disk energy consumption from 55 percent to 89 percent with degradation in performance of at most 8 percent.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004