Researchers are developing new chips and approaches to reduce the power consumption of data centers, which accounted for about one-fiftieth of all U.S. electricity use in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Cooling computers uses about 40 percent of data centers' energy, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Arvind estimates storage cache power consumption can be trimmed by a factor of 25 by using flash memory instead of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips. Arvind's BlueCache strategy uses about 5 percent as much energy as the DRAM approach while costing about 10 percent as much and boosts storage density about 100-fold.
Meanwhile, Princeton University scientists' new Piton chip architecture is designed to identify when users are conducting similar computations and carry out identical operations consecutively so they flow one after another, thus increasing data center energy efficiency by about 20 percent. Each chip also controls competing programs' memory access to raise performance 18 percent.
From Inside Science
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