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Moore’s Law, Less Carbon - Energy Efficiency Leadership in Texas

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Texas 2.JPGBy John Skinner, Director of Development and Policy Support, Intel Eco-Technology

Right: Intel's Drew Peterson and Brian Dietrich present award to Representative Anchia

An area of concern for many policy makers is the significant amount of energy waste in the U.S., which continues to be a drag on our economy, and an impediment to creating a lower carbon future. While advances in renewable energy get most of the media attention, the ability to eliminate energy waste via efficiency solutions, holds greater potential for economic and environmental benefit. After all, the watt of energy we never use (and therefore never waste), is cleaner and cheaper than any watt we might produce. In terms of societal benefits, we can indeed achieve addition by subtraction.

Fortunately, we have a renewable technology resource available to help us continuously improve the energy efficiency of computers and data centers: "Moore's Law". Named for the prominent semiconductor scientist Dr. Gordon Moore (who later went on to co-found Intel), Moore’s Law is the driving force behind the continuous miniaturization of transistors and digital circuits, of which computers are built. As we continuously shrink the size of transistors year over year, they each consume less energy than the larger transistors that preceded them. Thanks to the continuous application of Moore’s Law and other innovations, current new computers deliver computations more energy-efficiently than older computers, and future new computers will be more energy efficient than today’s. So, by regularly replacing our aging fleets of relatively inefficient computers with newer, highly efficient ones, we can regularly eliminate vast amounts of energy waste.

This opportunity to harness Moore’s Law has captured the imagination of tech-savvy and environment-oriented policy makers at both the U.S. federal and state level. In the Texas legislature for example, Representative Rafael Anchia recently took the initiative on legislation that will eliminate significant energy waste in the state’s own data centers. Specifically, Representative Anchia drove the inclusion of a rider to the State Appropriations Bill, recommending that the Texas Department of Information Resource utilize Energy Efficient servers in all state run data centers.

Intel applauds the initiative taken by the State of Texas government to eliminate energy waste in their state run data centers. In recognition of his leadership on this front, the Intel Eco-Technology group recently presented an award to Representative Anchia “for his leadership and vision in support of increased use of energy efficient technology in Texas state government.”

By integrating new technologies with new public policies, we have an opportunity to tap a variety of innovations to create improved environmental outcomes. To learn more about how you and your organization can harness technology to address environmental challenges, please visit the Intel Eco-Technology site, and consider becoming involved with the non-profit Climate Savers Computing Initiative.