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Communications of the ACM

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Sleep Talking Pcs Save Energy and Money


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UCSD computer science Ph.D. student Yuvraj Agarwal

UC San Diego computer science Ph.D. student Yuvraj Agarwal said a PC can perform most tasks a user wants "at much lower power-use levels than regular awake mode."

UC San Diego

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Microsoft Research have developed Somniloquy, a plug-and-play hardware prototype for personal computers that creates a new energy-saving state known as "sleep talking," which provides the energy savings of a PC's sleep mode while still allowing the PC to sustain some network-and-Internet connectivity.

"Large numbers of people keep their PCs in awake mode even though the PCs are relatively idle for long blocks of time because they want to stay connected to an internal network or the Internet or both," says UCSD Ph.D. computer science student Yuvraj Agarwal. "I realized that most of the tasks that people keep their computers on for — like ensuring remote access and availability for virus scans and backup, maintaining presence on instant messaging networks, being available for incoming voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls, and file sharing and downloading — can be achieved at much lower power-use levels than regular awake mode."

Somniloquy is a small USB-connected hardware and software plug-in system that allows a PC to remain in sleep mode while continuing to maintain network presence and run well-defined applications functions. Somniloquy supports instant messaging applications, VoIP, large background Web downloads, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, and remote access. The researchers say Somniloquy could be extended to work with other applications.

From UCSD News
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