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Graphical User Interface Energy Characterization for Handheld Computers

Lin Zhong and Niraj K. Jha
Department of Electrical Engineering
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544
{lzhong, jha} [*] [*]


A significant fraction of the software and resource usage of a modern handheld computer is devoted to its graphical user interface (GUI). Moreover, GUIs are direct users of the display and also determine how users interact with software. Given that displays consume a significant fraction of system energy, it is very important to optimize GUIs for energy consumption. This work presents the first GUI energy characterization methodology. Energy consumption is characterized for three popular GUI platforms (Windows, X Window system, and Qt) from the hardware, software, and application perspectives. Based on this characterization, insights are offered for improving GUI platforms, and designing GUIs in an energy-efficient and aware fashion. Such a characterization also provides a firm basis for further research on GUI energy optimization.

Lin Zhong 2003-10-13