A bug in Google's Chrome browser has been draining laptop batteries for the past two years.
The unpatched bug in Chrome causes a processor check to happen with much greater frequency than it should, meaning that the CPU on a system running Chrome will effectively be constantly on, using power.
According to Microsoft, the bug can increase power consumption by as much as 25%, running down laptop batteries unnecessarily.
In a normal system, the CPU will switch into idle mode when it is not doing anything. Windows will check for activity, waking the processor, once every 15.625ms, approximately 64 times per second. The Chrome bug however, will mean that with a PC running Chrome, even when Chrome is not the active Window, will run the check every 1ms, effectively waking the processor 1,000 times per minute. Such frequent checks have the effect of eliminating any idle time for systems with Chrome open, leading to increased power consumption.
Some users have been reporting power issues with the browser, and it has been reported on frequently since first being noticed in September 2012, with version 22 of Chrome. Google has not taken any action up until now, but the company has now assigned the bug to be addressed.
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