Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the Australian National University have developed the first detailed power profiles of how microprocessors function with different software and different chip architectures.

It's new knowledge that can help lower the energy consumption of both small cell phones and giant data centers.

"The less power cell phones draw, the longer the battery will last," said Kathryn McKinley, professor of computer science at The University of Texas at Austin. "For companies like Google and Microsoft, which run these enormous data centers, there is a big incentive to find ways to be more power efficient. More and more of the money they're spending isn't going toward buying the hardware, but toward the power the datacenters draw."

The study was selected one of this year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact by the journal IEEE Micro.