ENTRA, an EU-based research project that will run through September 2015, has developed an experimental software prototype that could help reduce electricity consumption at data centers up to 50 percent and improve the battery life of smart devices.
The ENTRA prototype is based on programming semantics that tells programmers how much energy will be used as a result of the code they’re writing. The ENTRA tool runs alongside the program. Through code analysis and energy modelling, programmers can see what impact their design decisions will have on energy consumption.
The tool shows energy use in terms of watts or in absolute energy requirements—meaning the energy needed to finish the task—depending on the speed of the processor.
The ENTRA project, which launched in October 2012, includes four partners in Denmark, the UK and Spain. The project is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme Future and Emerging Technologies. The end goal is to help bring energy efficient products by IT companies quicker to market.
The prototype is being tested on three energy-hungry components: real-time audio processing, robot motor control and real-time networking. In these case studies, researchers are seeing energy savings of 20 percent to 50 percent by compacting programs and optimizing timing of operations to permit lower processor speeds.
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