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New-energy-efficient products
Micron Technology discuss their new power efficient range.

New energy-efficient products reduce data centre power consumption

Micron Technology, Inc has delivered a range of new energy-efficient products that could save enough electricity to power 500,000 households annually, creating a powerful impact on applications that require a huge source of power generation.

Micron Technology, Inc., has introduced its new Aspen Memory family of energy-efficient products, featuring an industry first for low-voltage (LV) DDR2 DRAM in reduced chip count (RCC) memory modules. These new products, the first in the Aspen Memory family are specifically designed to lower server power consumption. Micron will continue to grow its Aspen Memory product family, which will impact a variety of applications where power is an issue including data centre servers and laptops.

“There is currently a push in the IT server industry to reduce the vast amount of power consumed by data centres. To truly be effective, the issue of power consumption should be examined from all technology levels in a data centre server system - all the way down to the silicon level,” said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. “Our new Aspen Memory modules provide customers with a low power memory solution with no loss in performance.”

Juice Junkies
According to a recent study conducted by Jonathan Koomey with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) and funded by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), enterprise data centre servers, such as the mega-computers that power the Internet or those used to house financial institution customer data, consumed 123 billion kilowatt-hours worldwide in 2005. That includes the overhead for power delivery and cooling of the servers. Based on Koomey's analysis, Micron estimates the portion attributed to the memory to be 25 billion kilowatt-hours. By implementing Micron's new Aspen Memory modules, data centres could reduce system memory power consumption by approximately 24 percent, which is a reduction of six billion kilowatt-hours.

Based on today's typical energy rates, this reduction could result in total annual savings of $300 million. To better illustrate the point, these savings would be equivalent to the electricity used annually by about 500,000 households. (Micron's calculations can be found in a white paper on its website.)


An Open Mind for Memory
The DDR2 components that are used in servers today typically operate at 1.8-volts. By employing Micron's process technology, as well as several circuit designs, Micron is able to lower DDR2 voltage to 1.5-volts. Additionally, by upgrading to Micron's new 1 gigabit-based RCC modules from 512 megabitbased modules, memory power can be reduced even further, providing a total savings of up to 50 percent.

“There are several factors driving the need for increased memory in today's data centre server systems, such as the growth of virtualization technologies and multi-core data processors,” said IDC analyst Shane Rau. “Because of these advanced technologies, we predict memory power consumption will continue to grow well into 2010, and a typical data centre server system will use approximately 14.8 gigabytes of memory.”

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