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Energy Efficiency intel1

Published on November 1st, 2008 | by Jerry James Stone

27

Intel's New Green Processor Offers $2 Billion In Energy Savings

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Intel’s new microprocessor was designed with the environment in mind. The company says the chip is not only rocket fast but is also extremely energy efficient. The chip—code named Nehalem—follows the Intel Core II and IV series processors.

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[social_buttons] “Going into this project … we insisted on energy efficiency … and power,” said Steve Gunther, an engineer for Intel. Adding more processing speed to a chip often requires pulling a lot more energy. Meeting this challenge was not an easy one, he notes.

Nehalem engineers had to tweak both the chip’s clock cycle and its operating voltage, both of which typically eat up a lot of energy. The biggest energy cut came from reducing usage on an idle machine; a lot of the chip’s life-cycle is spent idle. So that makes sense, if you’re not in the room…turn off the lights.

There’s a catch, though. The chip still needs to be “active” enough to receive instructions. Historically, chips remained fully powered during the idle stage in order to catch any instructions thrown their way—not anymore.

Intel estimates that switching to Nehalem processors could save $2 billion dollars in energy costs and up to 20 terawatt hours. The company also suggests that 2 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions globally are from computers. Maybe it’s time to upgrade?

Image source: Intel







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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • http://www.boredquiz.com/ Bored

    man this chip has been hyped up like nothing else before it.

  • http://www.boredquiz.com/ Bored

    man this chip has been hyped up like nothing else before it.

  • http://www.boredquiz.com/ Bored

    man this chip has been hyped up like nothing else before it.

  • http://www.mrgtb.com mrgtb

    I think it’s good that it saves energy. We need things like this in the world today

  • http://www.mrgtb.com mrgtb

    I think it’s good that it saves energy. We need things like this in the world today

  • Natfly

    “Historically, chips remained fully powered during the idle stage in order to catch any instructions thrown their way—not anymore.”

    This is simply not true. Both AMD and Intel have technologies that scale the CPU down while idle. Please look up AMD’s Cool’n Quiet and Intel’s Speedstep technologies.

    There are some power differences with the new architecture. Some of the cache was changed to a different design that uses less power but takes up more space. Also each core can now be clocked independently to reduce power draw of idle cores. This is an improvement on speedstep, something that AMD’s barcelona chips already do.

    This entire article is nothing but marketing spin and leaves out any actual details.

  • Natfly

    “Historically, chips remained fully powered during the idle stage in order to catch any instructions thrown their way—not anymore.”

    This is simply not true. Both AMD and Intel have technologies that scale the CPU down while idle. Please look up AMD’s Cool’n Quiet and Intel’s Speedstep technologies.

    There are some power differences with the new architecture. Some of the cache was changed to a different design that uses less power but takes up more space. Also each core can now be clocked independently to reduce power draw of idle cores. This is an improvement on speedstep, something that AMD’s barcelona chips already do.

    This entire article is nothing but marketing spin and leaves out any actual details.

  • abraxas

    Marketing rhetoric. They need energy efficiency, so that the platform can grow to require more when speeds increase, because they want to use it in notebooks and because they want more and more cores in a single chip. So yes, it’s great that it’s more energy efficient, but don’t believe the green nonsense, that’s not their real motivation, that’s just a sales pitch.

  • abraxas

    Marketing rhetoric. They need energy efficiency, so that the platform can grow to require more when speeds increase, because they want to use it in notebooks and because they want more and more cores in a single chip. So yes, it’s great that it’s more energy efficient, but don’t believe the green nonsense, that’s not their real motivation, that’s just a sales pitch.

  • abraxas

    Marketing rhetoric. They need energy efficiency, so that the platform can grow to require more when speeds increase, because they want to use it in notebooks and because they want more and more cores in a single chip. So yes, it’s great that it’s more energy efficient, but don’t believe the green nonsense, that’s not their real motivation, that’s just a sales pitch.

  • GunnarSvg

    I call shenanigans. Those sorts of sweeping generalizations are pure marketing fluff. I’m sure the processor is more energy-efficient, but given real workloads, how much do you really save over the latest processor, or an Itanium?

  • GunnarSvg

    I call shenanigans. Those sorts of sweeping generalizations are pure marketing fluff. I’m sure the processor is more energy-efficient, but given real workloads, how much do you really save over the latest processor, or an Itanium?

  • GunnarSvg

    I call shenanigans. Those sorts of sweeping generalizations are pure marketing fluff. I’m sure the processor is more energy-efficient, but given real workloads, how much do you really save over the latest processor, or an Itanium?

  • http://www.bootstrike.com/ Bootstrike
  • http://www.bootstrike.com/ Bootstrike
  • Bicep

    That 2% must mean 2% of the human contribution.

  • Bicep

    That 2% must mean 2% of the human contribution.

  • Bicep

    That 2% must mean 2% of the human contribution.

  • Jack Joiner

    Wow, now that is truly some kind of savings. Well done.

    Jiff

    http://www.internet-anonymity.net.tc

  • Jack Joiner

    Wow, now that is truly some kind of savings. Well done.

    Jiff

    http://www.internet-anonymity.net.tc

  • Jack Joiner

    Wow, now that is truly some kind of savings. Well done.

    Jiff

    http://www.internet-anonymity.net.tc

  • ThanderMAXti

    All marketing gimmick .

  • ThanderMAXti

    All marketing gimmick .

  • ThanderMAXti

    All marketing gimmick .

  • aldehyde

    Well holy shit good on Intel. This sort of thing is the key to adapting our energy consumption to follow with the changes we must enact.

  • aldehyde

    Well holy shit good on Intel. This sort of thing is the key to adapting our energy consumption to follow with the changes we must enact.

  • aldehyde

    Well holy shit good on Intel. This sort of thing is the key to adapting our energy consumption to follow with the changes we must enact.

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