Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Nov 27, 2012
Streaming data, social networks, online games and services, databases - the number of interactions we have with the Internet is continually increasing. Every time we click on a link, we trigger an avalanche of computer operations that are then carried out in huge server farms. It's estimated that these massive installations are responsible for 2% of total world electricity consumption.
EPFL Scientists are proposing a novel solution to help rein in this runaway consumption. By integrating the same kind of processor cores that are used in smartphones, the amount of energy needed can be reduced by a factor of four.
Their research is part of EcoCloud, a program designed to pioneer technologies to make cloud computing scalable, cost-effective and sustainable. It was recently published in an article in IEEE Micro.
The giants of the digital world - such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft - all depend on vast, powerful farms with tens of thousands of servers to manage their data processing.
To help keep costs down and to improve energy efficiency, chips have been improved and packed as tightly as possible into the processors. But this approach has reached its limits.
Ecocloud's solution, called "scale-out processors," is based on a different approach. They propose a reorganization and redesign of the processors used in the servers.
Instead of the current design based on a few, very powerful processor cores, they propose using more, but less powerful, cores. Each processor could thus respond to a larger number of requests.
"But current servers are designed for carrying out a whole range of tasks, from complex scientific calculations to gaming. They're actually way too powerful for most basic demands. As a result, they're not being used in an optimal manner."
The researchers have combined the advantages of new-generation small processor cores developed for smartphone-type devices; their architecture is simple but their processing ability is very efficient. Concentrated in large numbers in a large chip, they would provide a better solution to the way servers are currently used.
After having studied and compared several designs, EcoCloud scientists concluded that this arrangement maximizes space in the processors and significantly improves their performance.
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|