Green and Sustainable High-Performance Computing with Smartphone Crowd Computing

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Pijush Kanti Dutta Pramanik
Saurabh Pal
Prasenjit Choudhury


The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data applications have garnered a massive amount of digital data. Processing and analysing these data demand vast computing resources, proportionately. The major downside of producing and using computing resources in such volumes is the deterioration of the Earth's environment. The production process of the electronic devices involves hazardous and toxic substances which not only harm human and other living being’s health but also contaminate the water and soil. The production and operations of these computers in largescale also results in massive energy consumption and greenhouse gas generation. Moreover, the low use cycle of these devices produces a huge amount of not-easy-to-decompose e-waste. In this outlook, instead of buying new devices, it is advisable to use the existing resources to their fullest, which will minimize the environmental penalties of production and e-waste. This paper advocates for using smartphones and smartphone crowd computing (SCC) to ease off the use of PCs/laptops and centralized high-performance computers (HPCs) such as data centres and supercomputers. The paper aims to establish SCC as the most feasible computing system solution for sustainable computing. Detailed comparisons, in terms of environmental effects (e.g., energy consumption, greenhouse gas generation, etc.), between SCC and supercomputers and other green computing initiatives such as Grid and Cloud Computing, are presented. The key enablers of SCC are identified and discussed. One of them is today's computationally powerful smartphones. A comprehensive statistical survey of the various commercial CPUs, GPUs, SoCs for smartphones is presented confirming the capability of the SCC as an alternative to HPC. The challenges involved in realizing SCC are also considered. One of the major challenges is handling the issue of limited battery in smartphones. The reasons for battery drain are recognized with probable measures. An exhaustive survey is presented on the present and optimistic future of the continuous improvement and research on different aspects of smartphone battery and other alternative power sources which will allow users to use their smartphones for SCC without worrying about the battery running out.

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