VersaLogic Corp. (Eugene, OR) and General Software, Inc. introduced a power- saving feature on VersaLogic's PC/104-Plus platform, the Puma. The Suspend- to-RAM function (ACPI S3) of General Software's Embedded BIOS®2000 allows the system to wake up and resume processing in seconds. The board consumes less than 1 W of power in Suspend-to-RAM mode.

The Puma board includes circuitry to reduce power usage in systems that do not require being fully "awake" or instantly responsive at all times. The Suspend-to-RAM mode allows most of the Puma circuitry to be turned off, while all OS and application information is stored in RAM. The RAM image allows the system to wake up, restore power to all on-board components, and resume where it had previously left off. The power- saver mode also allows for increased heat dissipation in the system.

The quick boot feature accelerates boot time in two ways: lessening the time BIOS spends in Power On Self Test (0.085 seconds) and hastens loading the operating system image during Suspend-to-RAM's resume path by supporting native I/O hard- ware interfaces provided by ATA and SATA disk drives. The Suspend-to-RAM may be enabled or disabled. Initiating the mode is handled automatically by the operating system.

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This article first appeared in the March, 2007 issue of Embedded Technology Magazine.

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