Microsoft TechFest: The low power data center

Racks of servers demonstrated prototypes of low-power processors for data centers that deliver one-third to half the performance of high-performance processors while consuming only 5 percent to 10 percent as much power. So, how much power can data center save?

“In addition to requiring far less energy – 5 watts versus 50 to 100 watts for a processor typically used in a data center- low-power processors also have quiescent states that consume little energy and can be awakened quickly,” explained Dan Reed, director of Scalable and Multicore Systems for Cloud Computing Futures. “These states are used in the sleep and hibernate features of laptops and netbooks. With our current Atom processor, its energy consumption when running is 28 to 34 watts, but in the sleep or hibernate state, it consumes 3 to 4 watts, a reduction of 10 times in the energy consumption of idle processors.”

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