LONDON – Fabless chip company Broadcom Corp. has said it has joined GreenTouch, a global industry consortium formed by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs that is focused on improving the energy efficiency of IT and communications networks.
Broadcom said it will collaborate with other GreenTouch members to research and invent technologies that will enable more energy efficient networks, and create the network architecture, specifications, and roadmaps that will define them. By 2015, GreenTouch aims to demonstrate the key components needed to increase network efficiency from current levels by a factor of 1,000.
"We believe Broadcom will make a significant contribution to the consortium in reaching its ambitious goals while its customers, the industry, and the environment as a whole will benefit greatly from Broadcom's collaboration and innovation," said Gee Rittenhouse, GreenTouch Consortium chairman and vice president of research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs.
GreenTouch founding members include: service providers: AT&T, China Mobile, Portugal Telecom, Swisscom and Telefonica as well as academic and industrial research labs. Freescale and Fujitsu are other chip making members of the consortium.
Interesting, 2 years later, another GreenTouch article "Bell Labs group aims at 90% energy-saving in networks" talks about energy savings. Actually they're dreaming about much more than the headline suggests since they're seeking to reduce total energy use by 90% WHILE usage grows by 10 times. However, so far it seems the primary product is public relations. What has been done on the energy savings front to impress the engineering community?
Joining a "green" consortium makes a "feel good" news headline for each member as they join. The real news, however, will be in what they accomplish. Perhaps such consortia should require that tangible evidence be provided of the benefits provided by members before they're permitted to reap the public relations benefits of joining. The work hasn't started yet.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.