Sustainability First

Network Middle East chats to Khaldoun Aboul-Saoud, Regional Manager for Markets Development GCC & Middle East for Intel, about green processors

Tags: Intel Corporation
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Sustainability First Intel manufactures microprocessors that are lead-free and halogen-free.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  May 19, 2012

Network Middle East chats to Khaldoun Aboul-Saoud, Regional Manager for Markets Development GCC & Middle East for Intel, about green processors.

Is the development of ‘green’ processor chips merely a natural development in energy savings in chip evolution, or, are these chips specifically researched and designed to be energy efficient?

All chips that Intel manufactures are lead-free and halogen-free which make them green chips . However, at Intel, we create technology that advances people’s lives. We also believe we are uniquely positioned to advance environmental sustainability. Intel is transforming into a computing solutions company to have an even more profound impact on the world, and to lead where computing is going.

An equally important part of our global strategy is a recognition that we have a responsibility to care for the planet by developing technology solutions to address major global problems while reducing our own environmental impact. To realise this vision and strategy Intel contributes in three very important ways.

The first has been a result of advances to Moore’s Law - overall computing system efficiency has improved by 2.8 million percent over the last 40 years! Compared to the first billion PCs and servers installed 1980-2007, Intel technology will enable the next billion PCs and servers (installed 2007-2014) to consume half the energy and deliver 17x the compute capacity. Each year, Intel invests over $5 billion in R&D, in part to ensure that the energy-efficiency improvements of Moore’s Law will continue to serve the environment, well into the future.

Secondly, we believe technology and innovation are fundamental to solving many environmental problems. As people and companies around the world look to build a more sustainable future, they’re finding that Intel technology is critical to developing greater insights, creating new solutions, using fewer resources, and enabling new disruptive business models in all industries.  An example is the Intel Open Energy Initiative created to align and mobilise Intel and its partners around the application of technology and open standards to accelerate the global transition to smart energy. Specifically Intel is working to accelerate the integration of and synergy between intelligent renewable energy sources, smart grids, smart buildings, and empowered energy consumers.

Finally, we continually work to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions; implementing water, resource, and energy conservation strategies; cutting waste through reuse and recycle programs; and investing in energy conservation programs and renewable power. We design our products—and our buildings—with the environment in mind. Intel is the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the US according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Does Intel utilise green chips and energy efficient data centres in its regional head office?

Our engineers have incorporated green design standards and building concepts into the construction of our facilities for many years. Intel now has a policy of designing all new buildings to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

What are the costs of converting a traditional data centre into something ‘green’ or more energy efficient?

To contain rising costs while simultaneously maximising compute capacity, IT organisations need to address a number of key data centre challenges:

Lack of Access to Basic Data. Accurate data is needed for short-term and long-term capacity planning to ensure IT does not overinvest or underinvest in power and cooling infrastructure. Specifically, IT needs the ability to monitor individual and aggregated server power and temperature data at any point in time and also as historical trends.

Inefficient Use of Power. To account for worst-case power consumption, server power is typically over-allocated and racks are under-populated. This results in inefficient use of power infrastructure and overinvestment in racks and power capacity. IT needs the ability to limit power consumption below theoretical peak values so the kilowatt capacity of each rack can be fully utilised.

Power and Cooling Excursions. The availability of business-critical applications is a top priority for IT, yet a utility brownout or a cooling tower failure can put operations at risk. IT must be able to survive such failures to avoid downtime and deliver reliably on service level agreements (SLAs).

Hot Spots. Today’s higher density computing environments are more efficient, but can lead to localised hot spots during periods of peak utilisation. New tools are needed so IT staff can identify and mitigate hot spots and optimise workload placement based on power and cooling availability.

Has there been much of an uptake around green networking in the Middle East region?

Companies in the region are realising that IT sustainability is about the use of information technology to preserve the resources. It’s about reducing the power consumed by devices and recycling them responsibly at end of life, as well taking advantage of IT based solutions to reduce consumption of energy in other areas of the business. In most cases there’s a direct connection between sustainability and the value it brings both to the environment as well as the business through reduced expenses.

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