Feeds

Intel fills green software gap

Who ya gonna call?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Everyone agrees that green computing is a great idea. Well, everyone but software makers.

Last month, OpenEco's Energy Camp 2008 focused on traditional environmental issues - such as sustainable energy - it also touched on the role of IT. Concern about the carbon emissions of power stations powering Second Life servers was balanced by the possibilities for raising awareness through social networking.

Soon after, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs made sure he emphasised Apple's green credentials when he announced the Macintosh Air. And every time Reg Developer tackles green software and the green datacenter, readers say much the same thing: Something must be done to make computing more power efficient.

And yet it doesn't seem like companies in the software sector have any interest in taking the lead. We have found few serious initiatives to promote the cause of more efficient - and, therefore, greener - software. It's been the systems and hardware companies that are making the headlines, such as Dell at last year's Oracle OpenWorld

To that end, it's chip giant Intel that's stood out as the only high-profile IT vendor looking for ways to improve software development to further the green cause.

Helping lead Intel's work is Bob Steigerwald, the engineering manager for the Software Solutions Group (SSG), appointed the company's green guru last year. His brief is to look at ways software vendors can reduce the power consumption their products require. "We started looking at this about six months ago and we have been doing a lot of experimentation and we are now working on tools to evaluate software performance," Steigerwald said.

Intel has been looking at how to improve battery life with efficient software since 2002. The new initiative, though, looks at other issues such as how to make software "power aware".

"There is a much bigger energy saving perspective now with companies like ourselves and Google looking at how we can run more efficient datacenters. The focus has been very much on hardware - but we think software efficiencies can make a big contribution too," Steigerwald said.

An example of this is the tickless idle feature introduced in Linux lat year, which Steigerwald said demonstrated how a simple change to an important piece of software can make a real difference.

"The older Linux kernel used to be on constant alert but with tickless idle it only wakes up when there is an interrupt or when it is expecting something to happen. The Less Watts project has shown some pretty good energy savings using this with the PowerTop tool."

PowerTop can identify the components that are using resources inefficiently so that areas for improvement may be identified.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Whither Microsoft?

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?