September 21, 2007

New site aims to cut power bills for Intel-based Linux users

Author: Mayank Sharma

The Open Source Technology Center (OSTC) at Intel has launched a Web site, LessWatts.org, to help Linux users maximize power savings. The site hosts several open source projects, and shares tips and tricks to help optimize power consumption on hardware from portable devices running on batteries to large data centers.

"We created LessWatts.org to accelerate technology development and simplify information sharing for effective power management across a broad spectrum of devices and industry segments that are utilizing Linux," says Renee James, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Solutions Group, in the press release.

According to the Web site, "LessWatts.org is not about marketing, trying to sell you something or comparing one vendor to another. LessWatts.org is about how you can save real watts, however you use Linux on your computer or computers."

This isn't the first time Intel has tried to help Linux users cut their power bills. In May, the company launched the PowerTOP program that monitors individual processes to keep track of power consumption. "PowerTOP has been very successful in saving power," says its developer, Arjan van de Ven, in his introduction of LessWatts.org on PowerTOP's mailing list, "so much so that there now is a new project that has a bigger scope around saving power (more than just fixing things that keep laptop CPUs out of idle), and also has more people involved."

In addition to PowerTOP, the new initiative has several projects that include Linux kernel enhancements, such as the "tickless idle" feature, and the Linux Battery Life Toolkit, to measure the impact of Linux code changes on power savings. The site also has information on power-saving features being implemented in current and upcoming Intel platforms and lots of tips and tricks to save power on a wide range of devices -- from wireless and graphic cards to processors and disks.

Intel is a member of the Linux Foundation, whose Green Linux initiative has similar goals as LessWatts.org. Intel is also involved in Green Grid, a consortium of companies dedicated to reducing power consumption in corporate data centers.

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