SwitchR: Reducing System Power Consumption in a Multi-Client, Multi-Radio Environment

Yuvraj Agarwal, Trevor Pering, Roy Want and Rajesh Gupta
July 24, 2008

Multiple wireless network interfaces in a single mobile device exist in order to support their diverse communications and networking needs. These heterogeneous networks can be used to reduce power consumption, and thus extend the battery life of a mobile device, by enabling dynamic switching of radio interfaces depending on application requirements. This paper proposes a general switching architecture, SwitchR, for managing radio communications for multiple (client) devices utilizing multiple heterogeneous radios per device. To be effective and useful, the radio switching must be transparent to applications, and should be deployable incrementally within existing wireless infrastructures. The SwitchR framework considers the load imposed on the wireless channel by other communicating clients in order to make optimal switching decisions. We show that the resulting switching policy successfully handles multiple clients and reduces the energy consumption of all participating devices. We demonstrate reduction in energy consumption of a mobile device by 47% - 72%, depending upon the application, over the Power Save Mode in WiFi. SwitchR also leads to 13% - 60% reduction in energy consumption over previous multi-radio architectures that do not consider the interactions between multiple clients. Furthermore, we present a detailed analysis of how radio-switching affects applications, such as VoIP, that are commonly targeted for mobile devices.

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