Initiative Seeks 1,000-Fold Cut in IT Power Demand

By Jenny Mandel in the New York Times, January 11 2010

An initiative launched today by Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs aims to develop technologies within five years that can reduce communications networks' energy consumption by a factor of 1,000.

Organizers said the effort will radically transform the sector to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

"Imagine the amount of energy it takes for the global communications network to operate for one day. That same amount of power would represent three years of operation in this new network," Gee Rittenhouse, director of research for Bell Labs, said at a launch event in London.

A team of Bell Labs researchers found that the theoretical minimum energy needed to power communication technologies is 10,000 times less than is used today, making the 1,000-fold decrease an ambitious but realistic goal, Rittenhouse said.

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