Research at Cisco

Power (open call)

Cisco is not currently accepting proposals for this RFP.

Project ID:



Power (open call)


Part of the Innovation on Power at Cisco, this RFP covers an integrated approach to future looking research on networking, and additional topics on power savings.

  • System Low Power Design: system challenges for power-efficient architectures and protocols.
  • Sensors for Power: sensors world applied to power conservation.
  • Power Management: power management in different segments (from enterprise to home).
  • Business Sustainability in the Context of Energy Efficiency: organizational and business aspects of energy conservation and sustainability.
  • Low-power Hardware: technology challenges for hardware design and development.

Full Description:

The research should address an integrated approach to power savings and on future paradigms for power efficiency in networking and enabled by networks.

Evidence suggests that real savings on power and energy are possible only if a holistic approach to power is used, in terms of system design. Routers and switches, and the communications between them need to be power aware, and ever more efficient in their energy use. Such objectives necessitate a sensible research approach to system-level power aware design, mainly in terms of: architectures, algorithms, protocols and optimizations. The aim of the research is to address big-ticket items first, and help future development with novel solutions. The effort is not limited to routers and switches, but should encompass network-wide solutions or solutions involving collaboration between network elements.

Sensors are becoming an increasingly interesting solution to the need of observing and measuring elements of the physical world. Network-as-platform means that sensors can rely on network-based solutions to send information, but also that the network should be the central element of distribution and conversion on such information. In the context of power, sensors are particularly critical in terms of measurements, e.g., location, human presence, temperature, humidity, etc. Any optimization or power management starts from observations coming from sensors. The research should address two different aspects and their integration, namely sensor networks for power (e.g., wireless sensors) and networks of sensors (e.g., existing sensors in network equipment, buildings, the home, etc.).

In the idea of holistic view on power, the research should address the power management aspects of the power equation, not limiting the scope to internal or network management. The idea of network-as-platform, central cornerstone of Cisco vision, can be applied naturally to power management, and the research should address the related impact of the network, in particular in: Data-center power management, Enterprise power management, Intelligent building, Connected home, and service providers.

One of the major barriers to the adoption of energy conservation and energy efficiency is related to organizational issues (e.g., different accounting of operating expenses vs. capital expenditures). Moreover, it is not clear how businesses should react, in terms of new business models or new potential markets. This research should address new organizational and business model to favor sustainability and energy efficiency.

Various sources point to both near-term and far-term technology limitations for hardware design. One of the main problems is energy consumption, in terms of peak power and heat dissipation, average power, and stand-by / low-power modes. Research is needed in terms of novel techniques to tackle the issue of low-power hardware at different levels, both in the ASIC domain and microprocessor domain. The research should address the problem of evaluating trade-offs between power and performance, and rely on evolutionary and revolutionary approaches, to minimize in the short-term variations in processes and impact on time-to-market, and integrate in the long run with design and development processes.

Constraints and other information:

IPR will stay with the University. Cisco expects customary scholarly dissemination of results, and hopes that promising results would be made available to the community without limiting licenses, royalties, or other encumbrances.

Proposal submission:

Please use the link below to submit a proposal for research responding to this RFP. After a preliminary review, we may ask you to revise and resubmit your proposal.

Cisco is not currently accepting proposals for this RFP.

RFPs may be withdrawn as research proposals are funded, or interest in the specific topic is satisfied. Researchers should plan to submit their proposals as soon as possible. The deadline for Submissions is the Friday of the first week of each calendar quarter (the months of January, April, July, October). Funding decisions and communication will occur within 90 days from the quarterly submission deadline. The usage of funding is expected within 12 months of funding decision. Please plan your requests accordingly.

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