Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Energy Efficiency Encyclopedia – PC Insomnia

We’d like to introduce Verdiem’s new Energy Efficiency Encyclopedia, a resource for people to reference that highlights sustainable technology terminology. Please note that the meaning of these words or phrases may vary depending upon their context.

This week, we’d like to highlight PC Insomnia. PC Insomnia occurs when a PC does not consistently transition to a lower power state due to application nuances, or spurious network, central processing unit (CPU) or disk activity. Some common causes of PC Insomnia include:
  • Environment: Numerous services or agents within a PC image of an enterprise may spike the CPU utilization during periods of inactivity causing the Microsoft Windows® Idle Timer to reset.
  • Custom Device Drivers: Device drivers not written to the Advanced Configuration & Power Interface (ACPI) specification may not allow the PC to enter lower power states.
  • Screen Savers: Some intensive screen savers may require higher CPU utilization causing the Windows® Idle Timer to reset.
  • Applications: Terminal emulation software, media players, and some custom-developed applications may not allow the system to enter a lower power state.
  • System Configuration: Some PCs may not have their BIOS configured correctly to allow for system standby or the power state known as S3 or Sleep (ACPI specification).

As a result of PC Insomnia, PCs stay on while not in use and subsequently waste energy and result in increased CO2 emissions.

*Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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