Ever wondered about how smartphones consume power? This smartphone consumption analysis gives an idea of how power is consumed by smartphones.
Introduction to Smartphone Power Consumption Analysis
Smartphone is a kind of mobile phone which has an advanced operating system and which is a combination of personal computers and mobile phones. In this sense smartphones are very easy-to-use. Smartphones offer a high variety of different usages like GPS navigation unit, internet, personal assistant programmes, music players and etc. This high variety of smartphones has made the smartphones very popular among every age group. Smartphones became an indispensable part of our lives with the advancement in mobile technology.
As the smart phones have become very popular, we use them every minute in a usual day. One of the most important that the smart phone users face while using their phones is the high power consumption of the smart phones. Most of the smart phones today cannot be used through a whole day and the users run out of their charge and they have to recharge their smart phones during the day. This paper examines the reasons of high power consumption related to the display in latest-technology smart phones. The highest power-consuming applications of smart phones will be analyzed and will be related to the display of the smartphones.
Why do Smartphone Displays Consume Too Much Power?
As the smart phones are being more improved technologically as time passes, their displays are being improved as well. The newest and mostly used display technology in smart phones is the AMOLED displays. AMOLED displays offer a very high resolution with the smart phones and most of the latest-technology smart phones; especially Samsung uses this display technology. The first source of power consumption in AMOLED screens is the sub-pixel.
Researchers from ECE Department, University of Pittsburgh and Samsung Telecommunication America states in their article that “Subsequent generations of AMOLED products do not yield the significant per-unit improvement in power efficiency that was expected. The power difference between AMOLED products is mainly realized by design metrics like size and sub-pixel matrix” (Chen, p.5). They add that there is a different power distribution curve for each of the sub-pixels and the chromatic color consumption varies between different sub-pixels as they display different colors in different intensities.
Smartphone Power Consumption Breakdown
In addition to power consumption due to sub-pixels, higher power consumption is also enchanced by the use of the camera. Xiang Chen, Yiran Chen, Zhan Ma and Felix C. A. Fernandes states in their article that the power consumption by the display because of the camera is relatively less compared to other applications and they give a recommendation on reducing the power consumption by stating that “The AMOLED display’s power contribution is relatively small compared with that of the rest of the system during camera recording.
Possible power reduction may be achieved by optimizing the internal data transformation” (Chen, p.5). The researchers came up with this conclusion by measuring the power consumption of smart phone displays that has a very high resolution, between 6 to 8 megapixels, an deven the resolution of the cameras were very high, the result is excitingly a low level of power consumption compared to the other applications of the cameras.
In addition to the two measurements of power consumption, most of the smart phone users have downloaded a game on their devices and the use of games has an inevitable effect on the power consumption of the smartphones and playing games on smart phones is related to the display of the smart phones and so the power consumption can be measured in terms of the displays of the smart phones. So, we can conclude that display-related power consumption of the smart phones can be measured by analyzing the games on the smart phones.
As the smart phones have become very complex and improved, the games now have a very large volume of graphic computation on CPU and they require a very high display quality. The writers who conducted the experiment of the cameras say about the game display performance that “Smartphone games consume a large amount of power. This power is mainly consumed by background computation while significant extra power may be required by user interaction. However, the AMOLED power consumption is generally small in comparison” (Chen, p.5)
In addition to the AMOLED display performance, there is another research about the LCD displays and power consumption. Aaron Carroll and Gernot Heiser state that the display content has a very huge effect on the power consumption and they prove their thesis by comparing an all-white display and an all-black display and they conclude that “33.1 mW for a completely white screen, and 74.2 mW for a a black screen. Display content can therefore affect overall power consumption by up to 43 mW” (Carroll, p.5)
As a conclusion, we can come up with the result that there is a relationship between the displays of smart phones and the power consumption of the smart phones. In AMOLED displays, the display requires a high power consumption for games whereas it requires a lower power consumption for camera. For the LCD displays, it is concluded that the power consumption is related with the content of the display.