AMD calls for new battery measurement standard

By Justin Mann on March 16, 2009, 1:33 PM
If you've ever owned a laptop, cell phone or any other battery-powered device, you've likely noticed vast discrepancies in battery readings. Your laptop may tell you it has 3 hours remaining, the manufacturer may rate it for 3.5 and you find yourself actually getting only 1.5 hours out of it. This problem is present in virtually all mobile platforms and stems from devices giving you battery life estimates either based only on current use or only when idling – “best case scenario” times. However, manufacturers aren't ignorant of the problem, and some are calling for new standards in how battery performance is measured.

AMD is one of those, following a recent blog post from its Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Nigel Dessau. He admits that the industry as a whole is not being honest about battery life, asserting that most battery meters as well as the manufacturers behind them try to post lifespan specs based on idle time, and criticizing some existing benchmarks like MobileMark for this very reason. Dessau calls for a change in industry standards, including ones found in programs like 3DMark06, to give better estimates on battery life.

It's an interesting blog post, and I imagine he's only one of many in the industry who can recognize the battery meter folly for what it really is.

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