Two venture firms invest in university faculty member green information technology invention
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. announces that Valhalla Partners and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT) GAP Funds have invested in MiserWare Inc., a Blacksburg, Va. software company based on power-saving technologies for computing devices invented by Kirk Cameron, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.
Cameron directs the Scalable Performance (SCAPE) Laboratory at Virginia Tech, where he conducts research to improve the efficiency of high-performance systems. He began his work in power-aware computing in 2002 and received the prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award supporting the work in 2004. In 2007, Cameron, senior research associate Xizhou Feng, and computer science Ph.D. student Rong Ge, received a patent for a "Method and System for Automatic, Systemic, Performance-Constrained Techniques for Reducing Power Consumption in Computer Systems." Technologies from this research were the subject of a license agreement between Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties and Cameron's startup company, MiserWare, in July 2008.
The software being developed by MiserWare allows users to specify how much performance they are willing to sacrifice. The system automatically schedules processor frequencies to meet users' demands while minimizing power and energy consumption. "One of the key differences between this work and existing techniques is that our method considers system-wide performance as opposed to application-centric techniques," said Cameron. "Our techniques are completely transparent to users and applications. For instance, users may specify 5 percent performance loss is acceptable for power and energy savings. The system automatically monitors and meets these constraints without the need for training. The system simply responds to loads at runtime such that it can be deployed on existing applications and systems."