By Cameron Chai
Led by scientists at Binghamton University and its collaborators, the University of Texas at Arlington and Villanova University, have partnered with 15 US-based firms to establish a collaborative research center to combine the fields of cooling systems, electronic devices, telecommunications and information technology to address energy efficiency problems in data centers.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center in Energy-Efficient Electronic Systems (I/UCRC E3S) is partly financed by the NSF, with major support provided by the members of the industry center. The members are 15 firms embodying the data center’s complete supply chain, from software development to hardware production to end users, which include Steel Orca, Comcast, Verizon, Emerson Network Power and Emerson Delaware Valley Liebert, Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Corning, General Electric, Bloomberg, Commscope, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft.
In addition to the main center, I/UCRC E3S, support centers will be established on the campuses of the collaborators of the effort, the University of Texas at Arlington and Villanova University. Energy efficiency has become critical for data centers, as their increasing numbers caused by rising demand for online services. Energy saving in data centers will not reduce costs but will address energy usage issues in all fields of the electronics industry, ranging from e-commerce to gaming consoles to tablets and mobile phones.
The new center will deliver solutions to most demanding energy-efficiency issues and offer industry-related training activities for undergraduates and graduates. It will conduct its first official gathering in December 2011 to analyze the first pipeline of projects that are recognized as promising by the industry center members. Projects to be reviewed are operations related with energy-efficient scheduling of servers, workload and cooling systems, studying the impacts of dynamics and airflow, activities of compact models, and the design of micro-scale servers. These projects will be started immediately as they have been coordinated with research teams of I/UCRC E3S.