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Networks are one of the most significant developments in computing and a hallmark of modern society. However, along with increasing efficiency and productivity, both at home and in the workplace, networks have costs. One cost is the additional energy that electronic devices consume when attached to networks. Power management, a standard feature of modern PCs, was primarily developed to increase battery lifetime in laptop PCs, which historically were not network-connected when using battery power. Today, however, many laptops are connected to a network - typically a Wi-Fi network - as are the majority of desktop computers. Three key drivers of energy use are induced consumption by devices prevented by network connections from entering low-power states, increasing link data rates that inherently consume more energy for the network interfaces, and proliferation of network-connected displays that actively update and display data when no one is present.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004