Speaking Thursday (Feb. 20) at the Intel Developer Forum here, Nguyen said the savings are to come from a rethinking of how power is distributed and consumed in the notebook platform. He took aim at the biggest target, the backlit display, which consumes one-third of total platform power. Long-term, some savings will come from the move to low-temperature polysilicon display technology, where the larger aperture ratio results in a need for less backlight.We may have to wait a while for radically new display technologies, but the article also reveals a number of power saving ideas that could work with today's technology. Stepping down battery voltages from 9 to 3.3V, using ambient light sensors to control backlights, and stopping Windows XP from polling optical drives as part of its auto-play can all help to reduce power consumption with current notebook technology.
I'm all for reducing power consumption for laptops, and even crank my own Inspiron's backlight power all the way down when I'm working off the battery, but I can't help but wonder if new battery technologies couldn't help a lot. Wouldn't it be nice if we could reduce total power consumption and use new batteries that were lighter and stored more energy to begin with?