I've been reading about timer coalescing. Windows has had it implemented for a while, and Apple just integrated it in 10.9. I can't find much information about it for linux.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Timer coalescing is a computer system energy-saving technique that reduces central processing unit (CPU) power consumption by reducing the precision of software timers to allow the synchronization of process wake-ups, minimizing the number of times the CPU is forced to perform the relatively power-costly operation of entering and exiting idle states.
The Linux kernel added support for deferrable timers in 2.6.22,1 and controllable "timer slack" for threads in 2.6.28 allowing timer coalescing.
Citation 1, in the Wikipedia header, is to:
Linux 2.6.22 Released, 8 July 2007
So timer coalescing has been around, in Linux, for 6 years.