Santa Clara (CA) - Intel said it has developed a new line of motherboards that will enable PCs to retain certain functionality, even when they are in a power saving sleep mode and consume potentially less than 20% the power they normally would.
The "new" motherboards, which have not received an official name yet, are planned to begin shipping next month and will come with so-called remote wake technology. It is not an entirely new feature, as it has been previously been available on Intel’s enterprise-focused vPro platforms (introduced in August 2007) with slightly different functionality, which allowed system administrators to carry out repairs or updates remotely on PCs within their organizations.
For consumer PCs, remote wake will allow PCs to automatically wake up to run certain tasks, such as answering a phone call and media downloads. Among the first companies to support Intel’s new hardware is VoIP provider Jajah, Cyberlink, Orb and Pando Networks.
Intel said that the technology will be made available with four motherboards for desktop computers initially. At this time, the feature is only available through Ethernet connection, which means that if you want to use remote wake, Wi-Fi users will have to connect their PC to their Wi-Fi router with an Ethernet cable.
The message behind this remote wake technology is, you guessed it, a green one. If you don’t work on your PC and its only task may be to wait for phone calls, a typical consumption of at least 60 watts or triple-digit numbers in higher-performance PCs are clearly a waste of energy. However, if the PC is powered down into sleep state, the consumption can drop to about 10 watts in S3 sleep mode. That should not only have an impact on your power bill, but should make you feel much better about your environmental efforts as well.