Microsoft Hands Out Half a Million for Green Computing
Published: April 30, 2008
by Alex Woodie
Microsoft bolstered its reputation as a backer of green computing this week when its research division awarded grants worth a total of $500,000 to four research groups at American universities for their work in exploring better ways of boosting electricity management, increasing datacenter power efficiency, and creating more efficient parallel computing architectures.
The next Earth Week doesn't occur for another 350 days or so. But in the meantime, the industry is basking in the glory of last week's event and the residual interest in exploring more efficient ways to power computers and networks. Who knows: Green computing may have just achieved a critical mass of interest, if it hadn't already.
Microsoft certainly did its part to keep the ball rolling with Monday's announcement that it will give university researchers at Stanford University, Harvard University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Tennessee a combined $500,000 to study ways to reduce the consumption of electricity by computers.
The University of Tennessee's program, called "Control-Theoretic Power and Performance Management for Green Data Centers," is looking to develop a framework for integrating power and performance improvements in virtualized datacenters. Researchers at Stanford will seek to develop a "dense sensor network" for the purpose of analyzing electricity usage, as part of its "Building a Building-scale Power Analysis Infrastructure" project.
Students and professors at Harvard will be looking to make sure that the performance of a computer is proportional to its electricity consumption with its program titled "A Synergistic Approach to Adaptive Power Management." Advances in green multicore computing may stem from the University of Oklahoma project titled "Simulating Low Power x86 Architectures with Sooner, a Phoenix-based Simulation Framework."
The programs demonstrate that Microsoft is interested in raising the awareness of power as a critical resource that needs to be managed, says Sailesh Chutani, senior director of Microsoft External Research. "Through this program, we are encouraging novel thinking about how to reduce that power consumption and how to make technology more environmentally friendly into the future."