Quantifying the Energy Consumption of a Pocket Computer and a Java Virtual Machine

Keith I. Farkas, Jason Flinn, Godmar Back, Dirk Grunwald, and Jennifer M. Anderson

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the energy consumption of a state-of-the-art pocket computer. Using a data acquisition system, we measure the energy consumption of the Itsy Pocket Computer, developed by Compaq Computer Corporation's Palo Alto Research Labs. We begin by showing that the energy usage characteristics of the Itsy differ markedly from that of a notebook computer. Then, since we expect that flexible software environments will become increasingly prevalent on pocket computers, we consider applications running in a Java environment. In particular, we explain some of the Java design tradeoffs applicable to pocket computers, and quantify their energy costs. For the design options we considered and the three workloads we studied, we find a maximum change in energy use of 25%.