Reducing the Energy Consumption of Ethernet With Adaptive Link Rate (ALR)
The rapidly increasing energy consumption by computing and communications equipment is a significant economic and environmental problem that needs to be addressed. Ethernet Network Interface Controllers (NICs) in the US alone consume hundreds of millions of US dollars in electricity per year. Most Ethernet links are underutilized and link energy consumption can be reduced by operating at a lower data rate. In this paper, the authors investigate Adaptive Link Rate (ALR) as a means of reducing the energy consumption of a typical Ethernet link by adaptively varying the link data rate in response to utilization.