More 60-Second Science
[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
Every cell phone call, ATM request, Web search is routed through data centers. And the energy used is predicted to exceed 100 billion kilowatt hours by 2011, with an annual cost of $7.4 billion dollars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This is nearly double the energy centers used in 2006.
Servers are really inefficient. They take in 60 percent of peak power, even when they do nothing.
Servers would have to sleep and wake at a millisecond rate. While the hardware for fast sleeping computers exist, servers lack a person to close the lid. So it would require a redesign of the operating system to coordinate this instantaneous waking and sleeping.
Researchers say their plan will save nearly 75 percent of the energy taken up by these machines. If true, it’s probably worth the pain of renovation.