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Energy Efficiency

NComputing: The Energy-Efficient $70 PC


Imagine a PC unit that costs only $70 and uses as little as 1 watt of power. Sound too good to be true? Not anymore, thanks to the innovation of a California-based company called NComputing. The company creates access devices that have no CPU, memory, or moving parts. Instead, the devices connect to a central shared computer that uses NComputing’s virtualization software to share its excess processing power.

According to NComputing’s Chairman and CEO Stephen Dukker, 30 users can share a single $500 PC and still run videos, the Internet, and a host of other programs. And since the access devices don’t have any moving parts, they use 95 to 99% less energy than a traditional PC—in most cases, just 1 to 4 watts per user. That same lack of moving parts means the devices have a service life of 10 years or longer.

NComputing’s solution has been quick to catch on—in only 20 months, the company has sold over 1 million units. Not surprisingly, many of the devices have been sold to developing countries like Macedonia, India, and Bangladesh.

So will you use an NComputing device in your home anytime soon? Probably not, but don’t be surprised if they pop up in schools and offices around the world— after all, almost any organization would jump at the chance to save thousands of dollars while looking environmentally responsible.

Photo Credit: NComputing


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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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