Improving Power Management for Mobile Devices

EECS Assistant Professor Ahmed Eltawil awarded prestigious CAREER award

Ahmed M. Eltawil, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science and Samueli Faculty Fellow, was awarded a $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for his proposal, “CAREER: Cognitive Power Management for Memory Dominated Mobile Devices.”

His research aims to design new power management techniques for memory-dominated mobile devices, such as first responder, mission-critical mobile communication devices, as well as consumer domain cell phones, laptops and PDAs. The power management technique will factor in the wireless channel condition, quality of service requested by the application (such as video and audio), as well as the hardware status (battery life and available resources), to make decisions that use the variable nature of wireless channels to maximize battery life while satisfying the required quality of service. By monitoring the channel characteristics, Eltawil and his research group will develop run-time power management schemes that allow the margin of acceptable performance to be dynamically managed by the needs of the application utilizing the hardware unit at that specific instant in time, leading to much lower power consumption.

This research will provide both a theoretical and a practical platform for designers to experiment with the concepts of power efficiency and error awareness for mobile devices early in the design cycle, which could significantly impact their final cost, performance and reliability.

The multidisciplinary nature of the project, which spans theoretical, circuit, system and experimental work, creates an exciting framework to engage students, educators and the community. As power-conscious mobile devices become ubiquitous in every aspect of modern life, from government to corporate to private life, Eltawil’s work will have particular significance in accelerating the development of inexpensive and energy-efficient devices.

Eltawil is the founder and director of the Wireless Systems and Circuits Laboratory (WSCL) at UC Irvine. He received a doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2003, focusing on very-large-scale integration (VLSI) architectures for wideband wireless communications. He received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees with honors from the Electronics and Communications Department, Cairo University, Egypt in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

His current research interests are in digital circuit and signal processing architectures for communication systems, with a focus on physical layer design where he has published four book chapters and more than fifty technical papers on the subject. Eltawil holds several awards and patents in his field, and actively participates in professional service as a member of numerous conference technical program committees.