Feeds

Intel fills green software gap

Who ya gonna call?

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Whither Microsoft?

Measurement of power efficiency is not a straightforward goal, though. Tests of Intel- and AMD- based servers by Neal Nelson Associates showed, for example, that the way memory buffers are used can effect power consumption.

Other areas Steigerwald and his team have identified in a preliminary paper on energy-efficient software include better multi-threading strategies and improvements to DVD playback.

"We have spoken to DVD vendors and the gaming community about how we can reduce the power demands of these devices. We have had some success in areas such as reducing the frame rate and better use of caching," Steigerwald said.

What is slightly odd about Intel's work is that it should be a hardware company taking the lead in this increasingly important area. Leading software companies - those who one would expect to be pushing forward with efficient software - are, with one exception, conspicuous by their absence. Steigerwald noted that he has spoken to Adobe Systems on the issue.

The other half of the once great Wintel alliance, Microsoft, is among those absent. "There are no indications that Microsoft is doing any thing - my group does not have a relationship with Microsoft," Steigerwald said.

Considering the prevalence of Windows running on Intel you'd think there was ample room to improve the way its operating systems talk to the underlying hardware, to reduce the amount of resource consumption.

To be fair, Microsoft has made some moves in the direction of energy efficiency through its participation in the Energy Star programme. It is also possible to configure Windows Vista to improve power usage.

However, there's clearly a large part for ISVs to play. For example, application and operating system performance and tuning are subjects you frequently hear talked about, but from the perspective of user or server response times and rarely in terms of power efficiency. Yet there is a role, from designing and writing code that doesn't gamble on the availability of fatter hardware to writing smart algorithms, with some already offering their advice.

As the green bandwagon gathers speed there will be growing pressure on those developing and selling software to respond, in the same way manufacturers in other sectors of the economy are also being forced to change their ways and address green issues. As that pressure grows, today's trickle of activity is likely to turn into a torrent.®

Watch The Register's Green Computing Debate online today.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.