Several companies have been working to create cloud computing volume servers using "wimpy chips". These are low-power, lower-speed chips designed for mobile devices. The idea is that large numbers of these in a server can yield lower energy consumption while maintaining cost-effective performance. The EU has launched an initiative using the wimpy-chip approach, but an American pioneer has shuttered its doors.
The 'education' tag, above, will lead you to all sorts of stories about educational institutions around the world that are incorporating Green ICT technologies and practices. These range from the public universities in the United Kingdom to African schools in cleverly-configured shipping containers. What is missing are signs of wide-spread adoption of Green ICT by America's colleges and universities even where 'green' is the focus. A review of various 'green' lists illustrates the problem.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 and its tsunami had a huge impact on the country's ICT infrastructure, much of which is still being felt by businesses and consumers. Here is an update on the information and insights we have collected about data centers, communications networks, e-devices, and other ICT topics.
Global consulting company Accenture announced in March 2013 that it "…has been awarded a contract to create the strategic plan to help develop the University of Aizu Revitalization Center. The plan includes construction of a technology lab on the university campus as well as support for projects focused on rebuilding Fukushima as a technology leader. Accenture’s plan calls for the lab design to begin this year, with construction expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. When completed, the lab will feature a next generation data center, an efficient, high-performance center that will consume about 40 percent less electricity than traditional data centers." Telecom Asia notes that "The Revitalization Center was established to aid recovery of the area following the [earthquake]." A September release from Accenture announces that the company has been awarded a contract work on the design the ICT laboratory, itself.
Supercomputer manufacturers have always vied to build the most powerful machine. Now, they routinely increase energy efficiency, as well. The most recent addition to this ongoing article looks at the current top performer, China's Tianhe-2.
Apple has been making in big investment over the best couple of years to make its newest data center 100% powered by renewable energy. It has how announced a similar objective for a new US-based manufacturing facility in Arizona. This should contribute to reducing the embodied CO2e in Apple's products.
Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post in 2012 and issued updates ever since. Here are the latest.
Global ICT consumes ~8% of the world's electricity. How does that fit into the big picture of global energy consumption? And is that good or bad for the planet?
We have reported estimates for ICT electricity consumption over Vertatique's lifespan ranging from 2% to 10%. I am comfortable using ~8%, based on our most recent analysis.
Specialty metals recycler Umicore uses grams per tonne of gold to illustrate the potential for urban mining of e-waste.
|Ore||PC Circuit Boards||Cell Phones|
|~5 g/t Au||200-250 g/t Au||300-350 g/t Au|
The Digital Power Group said in August 2013 that global ICT consumes ~1,500 TWh of electricity annually, ~10% of the world's annual generation. This is the much greater that the 2% number commonly cited six years ago when Vertatique was launched. How did we get from there to here? And, is 10% a credible number?
This is not the first time I have seen the 10% number. It was cited in the promotion for a 2009 green communications conference in Germany. I've asked the source of both these 10% numbers for detailed breakdowns. Let's take a look at what we already know until we hear back.
Information and Communications Technology for Development - ICT4D - has become an explosive force in the developing economies. Much ICT4D is inherently more sustainable than its counterparts in developed countries. This could deteriorate unless Green ICT becomes an explicit part of ICT4D. Now is the time to make that happen.