In 1992, the U.S. Eviromental Protection Agency launched Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program which is designed to promote and recognize energy-efficiency in monitors, climate control equipment, and other technologies. This resulted in the widespread adoption of sleep mode among consumer electronics. The term "green computing" was probably coined shortly after the Energy Star program began; there are several USENET posts dating back to 1992 which use the term in this manner. Concurrently, the Swedish organization TCO Development launched the TCO certification program to promote low magnetic and electrical emissions from CRT-based computer display; this program was later expanded to include criteria on energy consumption, ergonomics, and the use of hazardous materials in construction.
Many governmental agencies have continued to implement standards and regulations that encourage green computing. The Energy Star program was revised in October 2006 to include stricter efficiency requirements for computer equipment, along with a tiered ranking system for approved products. The Europian Union's directives 2002/95/EC ( Rohs), on the reduction of hazardous substances, and 2002/96/EC ( WEEE) on waste electrical and electronic equipment required the substitution of heavy metals and flame retandarts like PBBs and PBDEs in all electronic equipment put on the market starting on July 1, 2006. The directives placed responsibility on manufacturers for the gathering and recycling of old equipment (the Producer Responsibility model). [ citation needed ]
There are currently 26 US States that have established state-wide recycling programs for obsolete computers and consumer electronics equipment. The statutes either impose a fee for each unit sold at retail (Advance Recovery Fee model), or require the manufacturers to reclaim the equipment at disposal (Producer Responsibility model).
The efficiency of algorithms has an impact on the amount of computer resources required for any given computing function and there are many efficiency trade-offs in writing programs. As computers have become more numerous and the cost of hardware has declined relative to the cost of energy, the energy efficiency and environmental impact of computing systems and programs has received increased attention.
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Main article: Platform virtualization
See also: Comparison of platform virtual machinesComputer virtualization refers to the abstraction of computer resources, such as the process of running two or more logical computer systems on one set of physical hardware. The concept originated with the IBM mainframe operating systems of the 1960s, but was commercialized for x86 -compatible computers only in the 1990s. With virtualization, a system administrator could combine several physical systems into virtual machines on one single, powerful system, thereby unplugging the original hardware and reducing power and cooling consumption. Several commercial companies and open-source projects now offer software packages to enable a transition to virtual computing. Intel Corporation and AMD have also built proprietary virtualization enhancements to the x86 instruction set into each of their CPU product lines, in order to facilitate virtualized computing