As the UK slips and slides through its face major snow experience of the winter it is one of life's ironies that only a couple of days ago I was watching the state of Victoria in Australia going up in flames as the result of record high temperatures 'Down Under'.
Reading the predictions made by environmental experts last week it seems that Yorkshire in the North of England could be seeing the same kind of scorching temperatures by 2050 unless something is done urgently to reverse 'Global Warming' trends.
But at least in the past week the global electronics power management industry showed that it has the potential to make some reductions in global power consumption through the appliance of innovative semiconductor processing technology.
With more and more data centers around the world seeking a reduction in the number of servers they use it was welcome news in the past few days that Samsung Electronics has developed the world's first four gigabit (Gb) DDR3 DRAM chip, using 50 nanometer (nm) process technology.
The low-power 4Gb DDR3 DRAM chip looks like it could play a major role in reducing data center costs, improving server time management and increasing overall efficiency.
For the new generation of 'green' servers, the 4Gb DDR3's high density combined with its lower level of power consumption will help bring down the cost of electricity bills, The new device will also help reduce installment fees, maintenance fees and repair fees involving power suppliers and heat-emitting equipment.
The 4Gb DDR3 can be produced in 16 gigabyte (GB) registered dual in-line memory modules (RDIMM) for servers, as well as 8GB unbuffered DIMM (UDIMM) for workstations and desktop PCs, and 8GB small outline DIMM (SODIMM) for laptops. By applying dual-die package technology, this new device can deliver modules of up to 32GB - offering twice as much capacity as memory modules based on the previous highest chip density of 2Gb.
Designed to be low-powered, the new Samsung DRAM operates at 1.35 V, therein improving its throughput by 20 percent over a 1.5V DDR3.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research and analysis firm, the worldwide DDR3 DRAM market will account for 29 percent of the total DRAM market in 2009 and 75 percent in 2011. That should go some way to holding back the advance of 'Global Warming'at least.
In addition, IDC estimates that 2Gb-or-higher DDR3 DRAM will make up three percent of the total DRAM market in 2009 and 33 percent in 2011.
In Europe, Cambridge University's Centre for Gallium Nitride has also developed a silicon wafer processing technique that could save energy that is the equivalent of eight power stations. The Cambridge scientists have developed a method of growing GaN LEDs on 6-inch silicon wafers that they claim could see the price of LEDs tumbling ten-fold within the next five years. See our report Cambridge University creates low-cost production method for GaN LEDs.
Neither Samsung's or Cambridge University's innovations will be enough to halt 'Global Warming' in its tracks but both developments show that intelligent appliance of science can go a long way to reversing energy consumption trends in a relatively short time frame.
Meanwhile for my next trip to the Yorkshire Dales I am not sure whether to take the usual wet weather gear, snowshoes or my Bermuda shorts. Chances are with British weather I will need all three.