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Sustainable Computing of the Future

Jennifer_Huffstetler
5 1 3,492

I’ll come right out and say it—I am passionate about sustainability.  I always have been.  When I was in eighth grade (way back in 1987), I volunteered to support my science teacher in sharing the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project material to schools across Ohio.  Recognizing the need to engage my peers more broadly around concerns for the planet, I co-founded our school’s first Environmental Club. Now, years later, I have the ability in my career and through Intel and its vast ecosystem to affect sustainability at a global level.  There have been many achievements and setbacks along this journey, but today marks a shining day for the planet as Intel announces a new, higher level of commitment and solution enabling that will positively affect all of us.  Just a bit ago, Intel announced plans to further reduce its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions—to be NET-ZERO emissions across our global operations by 2040, increase energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of Intel products and platforms, work with industry partners and customers to achieve their goals of greener solutions and partner with global utilities to accelerate the on-boarding of renewables to the grid.  Our vision is to achieve fully Sustainable Computing by 2040.

 

While there is so much in the announcement to be proud about, please indulge me as I share my excitement about our work with industry partners and the solutions that are being enabled to help the environment, for all of us.

 

Demands for green solutions from our partners and customers

We have a multitude of partners and customers asking for sustainable solutions. As the company that provides the fundamental building blocks of compute, we are helping them reduce their footprint by identifying and implementing carbon reduction initiatives. This starts with designing and manufacturing products that relentlessly improve carbon efficiency. As these continued improvements are realized in our products, partners can take these products and create next-generation data center and network platforms. And they’re increasingly implementing innovative technologies to further improve power effectiveness. One of these innovations is immersion cooling where you’re putting entire systems in environmentally friendly liquid to cool the equipment. Better yet, data centers with immersion cooling can capture over 90% of the heat generated and reclaim it for other use1. Data centers can go from electricity consumers to thermal power plants; supplying heat to rooms and buildings, heating sidewalks in cold climates, and even be used for greenhouses. 

 

Leading our customers to greener pastures

Simply put we are doing what we have always done: Setting out a bold vision that drives the industry forward.  We lead not only because it’s the right thing to do for the planet and our people but because it will deliver for our customers and our shareholders.  Here is how you will see us begin to transform businesses with sustainability in mind.   

  • AI-based telemetry – AI is fundamentally changing the way data center operators manage electricity. It can tell operators how much electricity individual components are using and set and enforce policies for minimizing electricity automatically. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors incorporate registers for monitoring cache, CPU frequencies, memory bandwidth, and input/output (I/O) accesses. These telemetry capabilities are showing the potential for significant energy savings at scale. Japan telecommunications operator KDDI reduced overall electricity consumption by 20% in a trial using Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel’s comprehensive power management and AI capabilities2.
  • Green computing runs on optimized software- Software helps you get the most out of the underlying infrastructure. Here’s a great example – With our latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon processors, you’ll get great AI inference (TensorFlow) performance out-of-the-box. But if you use Intel-optimized software, you can get ~3x that performance3. Further, if that software is optimized for one of our embedded accelerators named Intel Deep Learning Boost, you can get 10x the baseline performance4. And when you upgrade to future generations of Xeon processors, you’ll be starting at a 10x performance baseline. That means fewer servers to purchase, less servers in operation, and ultimately a lower carbon footprint.
  • Modularity- Intel and the Open Compute Project (OCP) are streamlining design processes, improving design cycle time, increasing variety in end products and increasing quality by leveraging open ecosystem innovation.  Project Blue Glacier5 is a modular reusable platform that changes how we design datacenter products which could contribute to reducing carbon footprint. Its specifications will be released soon. 
  • Industry standardization of carbon metric- Intel is partnering with the broader compute ecosystem and industry to drive to common metrics and standards for calculating your carbon footprint.  Finding a common ground of measurement is critical for carbon reduction and driving to net zero carbon emissions. 
  • Low Carbon Xeon processors - Intel is significantly invested in renewable energy with 82% of the power we use globally being green power6.  We also have our built-in accelerators optimized for workload performance that contributes to saving energy usage.  This adds business value as we set the bar for processor production and data center efficiency.      

What You Can Do Today to Promote Sustainability:

Intel products are essential for running the world.  We relentlessly seek to deploy our technology innovations for good, which is central to our purpose and mission.  We are solving big problems to help protect our planet and improve the lives of every person. This requires each of us to rethink and reimagine our businesses with sustainability in mind.  This will require disruptive solutions that are outside of the norm and non-traditional, such as immersion cooling heat reuse, new carbon-aware platforms, and a transformational and innovative mindset for how datacenters, factories and grids are built - doing more with less natural resources.  Intel has established a long-standing commitment to environmental leadership to achieve performance, efficiency, reduce costs, and respond to the needs of our customers and community stakeholders, so let’s lead the way together.

 

You are welcome to follow Jen on LinkedIn and Twitter for future insights, industry best practices, and discussions

 

1 https://submer.com/press/intel-and-submer-unite-to-transform-datacenter-heat-re-use-to-power-municip...

2 https://news.kddi.com/kddi/corporate/english/ir-news/2022/04/07/5992.html

3 https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/developer/articles/news/leverage-deep-learning-optimizations...

4 See claims 118 at www.intel.com/3gen-xeon-config for workloads and configurations. Results may vary 

5 OCP Global Summit - The Path to 5B Cores: Presented by Intel

6 https://csrreportbuilder.intel.com/pdfbuilder/pdfs/CSR-2020-21-Full-Report.pdf

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1 Comment
Michael_Clay
Employee

Great Information!

About the Author
Jen M. Huffstetler is Chief Product Sustainability Officer and VP/GM of Intel Future Platform Strategy and Sustainability. In this role, she is responsible for driving the integration and execution of the corporate-wide Intel Platform technologies & business strategies to drive future growth and corporate-level product strategy and action for Sustainability. Jen joined Intel in 1996 as a fab process engineer and has spent most of her career applying her extensive technical and business experience to lead strategy, product management, and product marketing efforts for a number of core Intel businesses. Most recently she led Data Center Platform Strategy, responsible for building and executing cross-corporate Cloud to Edge technical and business strategies, incubating new services, and driving Xeon Business Management and Operations. Jen holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT, and an MBA from Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School in Corporate Entrepreneurship.