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Smartphone and wireless device market has more than doubled in the United States since 2010. However, only few research have done regarding how much energy is consumed by the smartphone and the wireless device. This research aims at comparing the energy consumption and environmental emissions generated from the most energy-intensive processes in the life cycle of various smartphones and wireless devices with different consumption scenarios. The major processes looked at were the energy consumption for charging smartphones, data usage over 4G, 3G, and WiFi networks, as well as wireless storage in “the cloud”. Data transmission was found to be the greatest source of energy consumption in smartphones, however, new developed networks have dramatically improved the efficiency of data transmission. In order to compare the energy consumption of the wireless devices with the traditional methodology, energy consumption of desktop computers are compared. Moreover, energy required for networking and storage of data for traditional desktops and wireless devices are compared. Desktop computers typically utilize traditional networks and storage application whereas wireless devices typically utilize cloud networking and storage applications. It was observed that traditional desktops require more energy than modern wireless devices. The lower operation costs of smartphones more than make up for their higher data transmission energy compared to a WiFi connected desktop. When comparing traditional networking to cloud networking it was observed that the energy, server utilization, and many other benefits of cloud networking outweighed the benefits of traditional networking.

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Course Project

Primary Advisor

Jun-Ki Choi

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


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