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Old 8th November 2006, 15:27   #1
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Save Your Energy: Power Management Technology

The world of computer technology has changed. We've all heard that before, but the odds are good that you're reading this article using a mobile computer. If you're on a desktop machine, it's a good bet that you chose a computer with quieter fans—or wish you had. Some of these technology shifts sneak up on us, so take a moment to think back to only a few years ago when you didn't worry about how much power a computer consumed. Your machine plugged into the wall and ran flat-out at peak performance most of the time.

Laptops didn't have the required performance and were too expensive for most people. If you did have a laptop, it was a heavy beast that you knew wouldn't last on batteries more than a couple of hours. The new era of power-efficient computing has finally arrived, and computer innovation is now focused on power management technology.

This article provides an overview of the technical features used by modern processors to save power and reduce heat. We'll explain some of the terminology that you've encountered when evaluating mobile CPUs and offer a few examples to illustrate the vast differences in energy efficiency between the many choices. Last, we'll polish off the crystal ball to make a few predictions for what the CPU vendors will do next as they fully embrace the need for efficient computing.
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