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    March 2, 2012

    Coming Soon: A mobile phone that rests when you do

    All Things D has reported that mobile technology developer Qualcomm has an initiative that will enable your mobile phone to learn to rest at times when you’re not using it at full processing power or not at all, primarily to conserve battery power.

    While it may seem that we use our mobile phones 24 hours a day, we don’t, and during those hours our phones sit on our bedside tables, in our bags or stuffed in our pockets. With battery life increasingly precious as some models require constant recharging, phone and device makers are taking a number of steps to try reduce the waste.

    The initiative, dubbed Consia, monitors a user‘s activities and learns when and where Wi-Fi is available, when the busy times are and when it‘s bedtime. After a couple of weeks, the phone can decide when to connect and disconnect and when to fetch information in the background.

    Qualcomm‘s Rob Chandhok said in an interview at Mobile World Congress that “œPeople‘s patterns are very different, but individually our behaviours are very predictable.” For example, we all put our phones aside when sleeping, going to the gym, watching a movie or eating.

    To protect a user’s privacy, the information is stored securely on the device and all the calculations are done locally.

    However, Qualcomm is not the only company to attempt to help smartphone users go longer without having to charge their phone’s battery. Chipmakers such as Nvidia and ARM are switching from multiple fast cores to fewer or lower-power engines. Motorola‘s phones suggest “œsmart actions“ to reduce battery use, and more power-saving techniques are on their way.

    ARM’s initiative is called “œBig, Little“ and encourages its chipmaker licenses to pair a low-power A7 core with a high-power A15 engine, allowing the mobile operating system to shuttle between them as needed. ARM‘s Jeff Chu explained that “Most of the time you are doing things that don‘t need all that performance and the idea is to get the right size processor to do the right job. Switching to the “œlittle“ core can reduce energy use as much as 70 percent.”

    Nvidia takes a similar approach with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor with a chip that has five cores with the fifth core being used when low power is needed, in place of the other four.

    Watch The Consia promo video below:

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