HTTP Proxy for Low Power Operation of Wireless Clients

Wireless LAN (WLAN) interfaces are responsible for a significant fraction of the total energy consumed by a large class of mobile client devices. WLAN interfaces have power saving features which enable substantial energy reductions during long idle intervals. However, during periods of activity, when data transfers occur, the nature of the network traffic is hard to predict and this prevents the network interface from fully utilizing the power-save features between packet receptions. This paper introduces a web proxy architecture designed to enable further reductions in the energy consumed by WLAN interfaces. The proxy modulates the traffic directed to the wireless client into alternating intervals of high and no communication. The modulation takes into account the semantics of the web traffic and the configuration of the client’s WLAN interface. As a result, the interface spends more time in power-save mode and less time in active mode. Initial experiments show energy reductions of 13% and higher on popular web sites such as CNN and NY Times, and up to 56% when downloading large objects. The architecture does not require any modifications of the client or server applications.

By: Marcel C. Rosu, C. Michael Olsen, Chandrasekhar Narayanaswami, Annie Luo

Published in: RC23119 in 2003


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