On the Way to More Efficient Processors
Traditionally software has been optimized for performance, so every cycle and resource is used to its fullest potential. Now researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the Australian National University are suggesting programmers look toward more energy efficient practices, with the help of advanced power profiles.
In certain situations, the architecture of a piece of hardware can impact performance. For example, Intel CPUs have been known to outperform AMD’s counterparts for intensive video editing operations. Instead of performance though, these researchers are looking at power draw, and have already seen different classes of software use really different amounts of power. Though their measurements are the first of their kind they will likely not be the last, especially has Intel has released a chip with an exposed power meter. This will allow programmers to see just how much power their software needs.
Naturally, optimizing energy efficiency may come at the cost of performance, but in some circumstance, such as cell phones and other battery-powered devices, performance is of lesser importance. Already software developers and hardware manufacturers are working to improve their designs; this research shows the value of their efforts.