July 29, 2008

Scientists Test Computer Energy Efficiency

U.S. scientists, noting information technologies use as much energy as the airline industry, are creating a method to assess computer energy efficiency.

Scientists and engineers at the University of California-San Diego said they are building an instrument to test the energy efficiency of computing systems under real-world conditions. They said their goal is to persuade computer designers and users in the scientific community to re-think the way they do their jobs.

The National Science Foundation will provide $2 million for the university's three-year GreenLight project. An additional $600,000 in matching funds will be provided by the school.

The GreenLight project gets its name from its plan to connect scientists and their labs to more energy-efficient green computer processing and storage systems using photonics -- light over optical fiber.

As a leader in the field of information technology, UC-San Diego has a responsibility to reduce the amount of energy required to run scientific computing systems, said UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. Project GreenLight will train a new generation of energy-aware scientists, and it will produce energy consumption data to help investigators throughout the research community make informed choices about energy-efficient IT infrastructure.