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Method and apparatus to capture and represent power consumption data at the application level in a computing machine Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191496D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Jan-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Jan-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a mechanism to capture and represent the instantaneous power consumption of each of the processes running on a computer system and power consumed by any of the IO devices connected externally. The solutions available today present the power consumption of processes by considering only the processor power. This blocks the users of the computer system from knowing the accurate power being consumed by the processes as they are not including the power consumed by other devices viz. Harddisk, Display etc. The proposed mechanism will take all of the system hardware being used at any given time into consideration in calculating the accurate power usage of the processes and also power consumed by external devices which are not used by any of the running processes.

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Method and apparatus to capture and represent power consumption data at the application level in a computing machine

The disclosed method is to capture and represent the power consumption data of running

processes and external hardware in a computer system, in-line with instantaneous Memory and

CPU usage we see using to

                  command in Linux. This helps the users of the system in identifying the power consumed by each process and also the power drawn for the external hardware from each IO port connected to the system. When the system is running on battery, looking at the power consumption data of the processes, user can manage his work as per the remaining battery life.

The proposed results are achieved by a three step process which will be further explained in detail below.

As first step, During initial boot process operating system scans all the hardware installed and collects the respective device's power specifications ( which are assumed to be published by the device manufacturer). Operating system maintains a hardware table (say Table 1) which includes the power rating details of all the installed hardware. This table will be updated dynamically when a new device is added during runtime.

Table 1

Device ID Device Location Name Power Spec

1 00:19.00 CD Drive …....

5 00:1f.3 Hard Disk …...



USB (External storage device attached during run-time)

In the second step, When an application started running or new processes are getting created, Operating System maintains list of hardware in use by each of the processes.

To achieve this, OS maintains a separate table (say Table 2) which holds Process ID versus the hardware and the state of hardware in use by that process. For example if media player is started which is playing the files from a CD, an entry is made for this new process with CD drive and Speakers as the hardware in use.

Table 2

Process ID Device in use State

2483 CD drive Read

2483 Hard Disk Write




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3039 USB Storage device Read

3039 Speakers Play with Vol 5

In the third step, when user queries for the process level power consumption by running a command, the proposed application is invoked and it calculates the power consumption of each of the processes by looking into the hardware in use by each of the process(T...