There is a chance that such profiles could lead to a decrease of the energy consumption of small devices such as cell phones both small as well as large computing installations such as data centers.
The basic idea isn't exactly new, as the research apparently focused on figuring out how much power processors draw when running different applications. However, Kathryn McKinley, professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, said the scientists "did some measurements that no one else had done before."
"We showed that different software, and different classes of software, have really different power usage," McKinley said. An example would be that an application that leverages the GPS chip will cause a battery to run out of power faster than an application that does not. By itself, that is not a surprise, but McKinley, whose work was recently selected as one of this year's "most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact" by the journal IEEE Micro, said that power profiles could become a standard part of software to tell the consumer how much power a certain app will draw - which would influence the decision process whether an app will be installed or not.