Mobile multimedia computers require large amounts of data storage, yet must consume low power in order to prolong battery life. Solid-state storage offers low power consumption, but its capacity is an order of magnitude smaller than the hard disks needed for high-resolution photos and digital video. In order to create a device with the space of a hard drive, yet the low power consumption of solid-state storage, hardware manufacturers have proposed using flash memory as a write buffer on mobile systems. This paper evaluates the power savings of such an approach and also considers other possible flash allocation algorithms, using both hardware- and software-level flash management. Its contributions also include a set of typical multimedia-rich workloads for mobile systems and power models based upon current disk and flash technology. Based on these workloads, we demonstrate an average power savings of 267 mW (53% of disk power) using hardware-only approaches. Next, we propose another algorithm, termed Energy-efficient Virtual Storage using Application-Level Framing (EVS-ALF), which uses both hardware and software for power management. By collecting information from the applications and using this metadata to perform intelligent flash allocation and prefetching, EVS-ALF achieves an average power savings of 307 mW (61%), another 8% improvement over hardware-only techniques.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.