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HP to cut datacentre energy use

HP is working on reducing power consumption in datacentres

HP says it is working on multiple technologies to help reduce power consumption in datacentres by up to 70%.

One of the options explored by researchers at HP Labs is the replacement of copper cabling in the datacentre with fibre optics.

They said the switch from conventional electrical signals to photonics, or light-based transmission, will offer several advantages including faster data transfer and savings on energy and costs.

Ian Brooks, European head of innovation and sustainable computing at HP, said: "We're looking at how to take 70% of the power usage out of the datacentre, using things like power-efficient memory, as well as the application of photonics, using light instead of electrical signals.

"You can send far more data down a cable using light than you can with copper, but you also generate a lot less heat, due to the electrical resistance of copper. Also copper is a scarcer mineral than silicon - so it's better from a resource perspective."

Reduced heat generation from the large amounts of copper cabling in servers, racks and other equipment would mean less intense air conditioning and lower power usage, he said.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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