IT Giants Publish New Design Tools to Wake PCs Instantly from Sleep

IT Giants Publish New Design Tools to Wake PCs Instantly from Sleep

The vast majority of PCs in the world currently don't use any power management tools -- software to put unused displays and hard drives into energy-saving sleep mode -- even though most PCs are sold with those tools installed as part of the operating system.

Part of the challenge is a lack of awareness about just how much energy idle computers use, but more often computer users and IT managers don't want to wait for machines to wake up from sleep, which can hinder productivity and slow updates and systems administration tasks.

A new guide released this month by the Climate Savers Computing Initiative offers instructions on how to overcome the challenges of sleep state standby (S3) technology, and gives IT manufacturers tools to build energy efficient platforms that users will actually employ.

"Currently, 90 percent of desktops do not use power management, even though today's computers support this feature in their operating systems, power management software and platform components and design," Pat Tiernan, executive director of Climate Savers Computing, said in a statement. "Users prefer to have instant access to their network. Our challenge is to lower an idle, unused computer's energy consumption without sacrificing system productivity or performance."

The Power Management Systems Guide, which was developed in a collaboration among Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, LSI, Lenovo and Microsoft, lays out the benefits of adopting power management technologies, which can save a company installing such tools on 1,000 PCs $30,000 a year in energy costs. The guide offers detailed instructions on design elements ranging from hardware to user interface to how to comply with the Energy Star standards and the forthcoming Ecma Network Proxy Standard.

"The Power Management Workgroup provides a great example of how Climate Savers Computing allows collaboration between technology competitors to build industry-wide efforts that positively impact both technology and behavior," Tiernan said. "By offering solutions to various technical issues, we hope the design guide will lead to an increased deployment of computer power management across the board, with improved designs leading to greater consumer adoption."

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, launched by Google and Intel in 2007, now numbers hundreds of affiliates, associates, sponsors and supporters, all joined together with the goal of reducing the amount of energy and associated greenhouse gas emissions that the IT industry is responsible for. The industry is widely accepted to generate 2 percent of the world's emissions, although that number is also expected to grow rapidly as more countries and more elements of everyday life move online.

The Initiative has been expanding across the globe since its launch, with partnerships in Europe, China, India, and through partnerships with governors, universities and others.

The Power Management Systems Guide is available for download from GreenerComputing; more details are online at