If you follow Intel you know that efficiency is kind of a big deal for us. Mantra might be the right word. Years ago the company took a "right hand turn"
in product design and raised efficiency up with pure performance as a design determinent for our platforms. If you think about this for a second you realize that this is a very big change in thinking...kind of like turning Ferarri engineers into Prius designers. But wait...we need to continue to deliver the performance of a Ferarri while providing the efficiency of a Prius - no small task. (If you want to learn more about the right hand turn you can watch my friend John Skinner explain the change in detail.)
If you are a Chip Chat listener you also know that we like to talk about efficiency on the program. It's a personal passion of mine, and I have spent a good part of my "day job" at Intel on efficiency related programs. When I'm out talking about what Intel has delivered in the realm of computer efficiency I'm often asked a single question:
What about software?
It's a good question. The efficiency conversation has historically focused on how hardware consumes watts, but that is slowly changing. Data centers are more focused on utilizing a combination of system instrumentation and management tools to more accutely control watts...and more recently Intel released a tool called Intel Energy Checker to help measure how apps are utilizing energy to complete work, and how software developers can utilize this data to optimize the efficiency of their code. A simple tool perhaps, but if you think of the implications of software developers making their own right hand turn in design, we may have an ability to drive even more efficiency into tomorrow's computing solutions. Wow!
I couldn't wait to talk with one of our Energy Checker gurus, Kevin Bross, about this nifty little tool. His insights into the challenges of delivering a tool that can be universally useful uncovered some of the unique challenges shaping this area of innovation. I hope you enjoy this episode,and look forward to your comments.