Originally Posted by Olin Coles
EDITOR'S NOTE: I must admit that this is by far one of the best demonstrations of power-saving technology that the industry has seen. Given that NVIDIA has achieved complete power-down for the GPU with Optimus technology, and not simply accepting the low-power standby state we experience elsewhere, it will be a matter of time before we see this same principal used for other computer hardware components.
I'm not sure how many other computer components the idea would be applicable to. It works really well in this case because:
1. There's no "state information" that has to be saved, because another graphics chip is taking over the complete load, and
2. You don't have to poll for possible state changes.
3. The computer knows when to switch between graphics systems with no action on your part.
But I can't think of any other subsystem right offhand you could use this idea with. Take Bluetooth: leaving the Bluetooth radio on uses power but ensures that your wireless mouse works instantly whenever you try it. You could turn the radio off when you're not using it, but then you've added an extra step when you want to use your mouse. There's no way for the computer to automatically power up the radio only when you need it, because with the radio off, it doesn't know when a Bluetooth device attempts to connect.
Same thing with USB: you could drop power to any USB port without something plugged into it, but then your computer wouldn't know when something was
I think what we'll see is more of what ATI does with their newest graphics cards: shut down as much of a subsystem as possible, but leave enough running to detect when more power is needed. We're also seeing a lot of similar technology in CPUs.