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Posted: Jul 16, 2013
EU research project will enable development of 'greener' IT products
(Nanowerk News) Developing greener software and technology is crucial for ensuring people and organisations reduce their impact on the environment. A new project hopes to enable the development of greener IT products by providing the energy consumption information of computer systems early in the software design phase.
The collaborative European research team, including a team of seven researchers at the University of Bristol led by Dr Kerstin Eder from the Department of Computer Science, have been awarded €2.1 million by the European Commission for the three-year project, known as ENTRA (Whole-Systems ENergy TRAnsparency).
The goal of the ENTRA project is to promote energy-aware system development by enabling energy transparency from the hardware to the software in a computer system. This will be achieved using advanced energy modelling and program analysis techniques to make predictions of energy usage available to the system developer and software engineering tool chain. The researchers expect that optimizing the energy efficiency of a program both during code development and at run-time will lead to more energy efficient computer systems.
Dr Kerstin Eder, Reader in Design Automation and Verification, said: “Lack of energy transparency in today’s software development tools means that much of the potential energy saving available from power-efficient hardware is not utilized.”
The project departs from the approach of today’s software development tools because energy transparency is at odds with a basic principle in modern software engineering - the desire to abstract away machine-level details in high-level code in the interests of portability, understandability and software reuse. By contrast, energy transparency requires making visible the effects of energy-saving features of modern processors.
The research project, led by Roskilde University, Denmark, is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme, Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) under the Minimizing Energy Consumption of Computing to the Limit (MINECC) objective.
The University of Bristol is a key partner in the project and is responsible for energy consumption modelling of computations. In addition, the consortium includes XMOS Ltd, Bristol and the IMDEA Software Institute, Madrid, Spain.