‘Passive Wi-Fi’ researchers promise to cut Wi-Fi power by 10,000x
By now, the power hogs on your smartphone and PC are well known: the display, the CPU, and the need to power up your Wi-Fi or 3G radio to send and receive data, all consume power and chip away at your battery life. But researchers have found a way to almost eliminate the power consumed by Wi-Fi, although you’ll need some new chips inside your router and your smartphone.
What researchers at the University of Washington are calling “passive Wi-Fi” slashes the power used by 802.11b transmissions to just 59 microwatts, or about 10,000 times less than a conventional Wi-Fi chip would consume. A spinoff, called Jeeva Wireless, has been formed with the intention of commercializing the so-called backscatter technology, the university said.