Worth noting: the i386 implementation was preceded by one for the OMAP processors ... ARM based system-on-chip processors you may well have in your cell phones, with some serious hardware support for power reduction. You know, where shaving a few milliWatts power here and there start to add up to more hours of battery life, getting you into that sixth day of unplugged operation...
Unlike PCs these are designed with the expectation that parts of the system will go to sleep while others are still active. So putting the CPU to sleep may mean notable savings depending on how deeply it sleeps, and yet the whole system could still be streaming DMA through audio. Wasting power on waking up the CPU even just a hundred times per second (default HZ on ARM) would be bad.
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