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Power dissipation by storage systems in mobile computers accounts for a large percentage of the power consumed by the entire system. Reducing the power used by the storage device is crucial for reducing overall power consumption. A new class of secondary storage devices based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) promises to consume an order of magnitude less power with 10-20 times shorter latency and 10 times greater storage densities. We describe three strategies to reduce power consumption: aggressive spin-down; sequential request merging; sub-sector accesses. We show that aggressive spin-down can save up to 50% of the total energy consumed by the device at the cost of increased response time. Merging of sequential requests can save up to 18% of the servicing energy and reduce response time by about 20%. Transferring less data for small requests such as those for metadata can save 40% of the servicing energy. Finally, we show that by applying all three power management strategies simultaneously the total power consumption of MEMS-based storage devices can be reduced by about 54% with no impact on I/O performance.
Date of Conference: 2002