gGadget > HP® Raises The Bar On Lowering Power Consumption
Hewlett Packard is setting out to change the way companies like Facebook and Amazon power their servers. In a conference in 2009, Facebook’s VP of technical operations, Jonathan Heiliger, explained his dissatisfaction with the current offerings from the leading chipmakers in the world.
Heiliger’s complaints stem from the huge amounts of power that are sucked up by the massive servers of companies like his. Powering a single chip, even with the most efficient units on the market, still eats up about 8 watts. That’s for an energy efficient model. For a standard run-of-the-mill chip, you’re looking at 45 watts of power consumption.
Enter the Calxeda EnergyCore chip. This is the Prius of computer chips, meaning there is a tradeoff. Mostly that comes in the form of lost performance power in favor of incredible energy efficiency. The chip requires about 1.5 watts to operate and while it won’t have the performance of its energy-gobbling competitors, it will be enough to power the huge servers of Facebook, Amazon and other server farms.
HP, a company that is badly in need of a win after the debacle of their quickly-canned TouchPad tablet, recently announced it has designed a 288-chip rack unit that is only seven inches tall. This could be the beginning of something very good for the company.
The rack unit is part of a new program HP is calling Project Moonshot. The project is geared toward improving energy efficiency. The Pathfinder Program is one part of Moonshot that is especially interesting. The program has essentially created an “ecosystem” of industry leaders that will allow companies like Calxeda, AMD and Intel to collaborate and exchange ideas on how to develop the most effective, low-energy chips and servers possible.
If the EnergyCore takes off and does end up powering servers of huge companies like Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg might just convert the Sweden-based server farm he recently announced plans for into his summer vacation home.