Intel Receives Network-Power-On Patent

The document, filed in 2007, describes a networked environment of devices and is a step beyond the WoL (Wake on LAN (Local Area Network)) feature. In an environment of at least three devices, where on device is requesting data from a second device that is turned off, there is a third device that will is capable of determining that state and switch on a computing device on demand. The benefit of such an environment may be reduced power consumption as WoL device never can be entirely turned off and will always consume power.

According to Intel, the feature of "powering on devices via intermediate computing device" not only applies to enterprise scenarios, but also home environments where "devices coupled to a network may act as distributed media storage and playback with reduced power consumption when such devices are not in use." The power-on message is supported to be transmitted via wired and wireless signals over local and wide-area networks.

While Intel remains blurry about the exact technologies and protocols being used - the patent refers to virtually any networked computing environment and their data transfer protocols - the company specifically notes that the power-on feature may be built into processors and other circuits, logic units, or devices within the system. The actual data transfer takes place "via a point-to-point (PtP) interface using PtP interface circuits, respectively." The microprocessor would include a high speed (e.g., general purpose) I/O bus channel in some embodiments of the invention to facilitate communication with various components (such as I/O device(s))," the patent states.

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  • velocityg4
    This would be great. Power consumption is the reason I have yet to build a NAS for my home.

    Even an ARM CPU uses too much energy running 24/7 to justify setting one up just for an occasional convenience of access to all my files on all devices at all times.
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  • nhat11
    velocityg4This would be great. Power consumption is the reason I have yet to build a NAS for my home.Even an ARM CPU uses too much energy running 24/7 to justify setting one up just for an occasional convenience of access to all my files on all devices at all times.


    eh how much power does your device use? My desktop can be on 24/7 and its only a few dollars a month ($2-5)
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  • jhansonxi
    Seems like a minor improvement over remote power distribution/control devices which have available for datacenters for 20 years. There may be some innovation in the specific way it handles network messages but this still seems like another frivolous patent.
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