Microsoft Funds Low-Power Data Center Studies

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will award $500,000 in research grants to major universities exploring new approaches to data center power efficiency, power management and the creation of low-power parallel computing architecture, the company said today. The program encourages researchers to use novel approaches in hardware design, software, networking, benchmarking, analysis, virtualization and any other avenue that might provide improvements in the field.

The $500,000 will be awarded among the four schools. Here’s an overview of the projects:

  • Control-Theoretic Power and Performance Management for Green Data Centers: A team at the University of Tennessee is developing frameworks for integrating power and performance improvements in virtualized data centers.
  • Building a Building-scale Power Analysis Infrastructure: Stanford University researchers are working on the design and deployment of a dense sensor network for power analysis, producing data for future research on power-aware computing.

  • A Synergistic Approach to Adaptive Power Management: Harvard University’s project seeks to develop a dynamic runtime environment that ensures that power consumption is proportional to the computational demands made on the system.
  • Simulating Low Power x86 Architectures with Sooner, a Phoenix-based Simulation Framework: Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are developing a simulation framework that supports the study of low-power microarchitectures for innovative multicore systems.

“We applaud the efforts of these academic researchers to develop new, innovative technologies to reduce energy usage and lessen the impact on the environment,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in the potential of software to help create a more sustainable environment, and the Sustainable Computing Program is just one example of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to help businesses and consumers drive change through energy efficiency.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.