Power consumption was usually something of secondary concern for desktop computer engineers for a while. But not so today. When you’re cramming all those transistors in such a small space, operating at high speeds, power definitely becomes an issue. Now that mobile and embedded devices are experiencing their slow infiltration of our daily lives, power should be on the table for improvement. Google has been doing some work for this, and they now build their own power supplies, and even build their data centers where power is cheaper (old news, so I won’t link it).
Battery life is one area of computing that really is way behind. I’m still hoping for some feat of chemical engineering to save us…but hopefully, in this time of scarce energy for mobile devices will drive some creative hardware engineering.