Investigating energy and security trade-offs in the classroom with the atom LEAP testbed

Peter A.H. Peterson, Digvijay Singh, William J. Kaiser, Peter L. Reiher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We recently used the Atom LEAP as the foundation for CS 188, an undergraduate research seminar investigating potential trade-offs between security and energy consumption in a hypothetical, battery-powered tablet device. Twenty-three students, in five groups, researched the energy costs of full disk encryption, network cryptography, and sandboxing techniques, as well as the potential savings from two concepts: offloading security computation, and enabling user-level applications to modulate their security behavior based on battery capacity and environmental security. The Atom LEAP is an exciting and powerful tool. A self-contained energy measurement platform, it can generate 10,000 component-level power samples per second during runtime. The Atom LEAP synchronizes individual samples to the time stamp counter of the Intel Atom CPU, allowing us to measure small code segments in the kernel or in user space. The success of CS 188 was possible because of the Atom LEAP’s unique capabilities and ease of use. Following the success of the class, we are working to improve the hardware and software tools, in the hope that the Atom LEAP might someday become a widespread tool for energy research and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Event4th Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test, CSET 2011 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2011 → …


Conference4th Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test, CSET 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period8/8/11 → …

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The simplicity and flexibility of the Atom LEAP make it an exceptional testbed for energy-related education. We support this claim by describing highlights from UCLA CS 188, an upper-level undergraduate research course, supported by Intel.

Funding Information:
The research reported here is partly supported by the National Science Foundation under contract 0905580. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 USENIX Association. All rights reserved.


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