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  1. Hardware
July 10, 2015

Microsoft’s WearDrive boosts wearables battery life

Sending battery-consuming heavy workloads back to the phone will keep smart devices running for longer.

By Joao Lima

Microsoft researchers have developed a solution that could answer the much debated dilemma of battery life for wearbales

The WearDrive is a fast storage system for wearables based on battery-backed RAM, which the company said will improve wearable’s applications performance by up to 8.85x and battery life up to 3.69x.

Microsoft said slow flash storage keeps the CPU active for a longer period of time, wasting battery life.

The solution will transfer the most battery-intensive workloads from the wearable to the phone by pairing with the phone over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

The WearDrive has also been optimised for warm resets of the device’s OS. If the available energy is above 7%, the firmware continues to refresh DRAM without scrubbing or cleaning any data.

The OS then separates the pages in BB-RAM from regular DRAM using the bitmap and continues the boot process, according to Microsoft Research.

Microsoft Research said: "Size and weight constraints on wearables limit their battery capacity and restrict them from providing rich functionality.

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"To speed up storage operations, WearDrive actively uses DRAM as storage. However, WearDrive guarantees durability in spite of DRAM’s volatility. DRAM on mobile platforms is continuously refreshed.

"WearDrive demonstrates that battery-backed RAM (BBRAM) can provide significant performance and energy benefits for wearable applications."

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