Environmental Protection

Datacenter overheating problems tackled at energy conference

One focus of the coming IEEE greentech conference in April is solving the nagging problems of wasted energy (in massive amounts) at datacenters around the world, say producers.

A solution is badly needed because the current method for saving energy, known as C-state, reportedly causes more problems than it solves. "We have had to turn c-State off at all our computers," said one senior datacenter technician who did not want to be identified, "it doesn't work, our equipment kept going down and C-state was nearly always the cause."   

There is also an energy cost associated in transitioning between multiple C-states. If the interrupt rates are high, the power savings due to deeper sleep states are negatively impacted due to the decrease in sleep state residencies and the cost associated with C-state transitions. While Intel platforms offer platform-specific C3-like states, they require long residency (multiple milliseconds) to fully amortize their transitional costs. An aggressive interrupt rate can potentially negate the benefits of deep sleep states offered by the platform.

Now comes Apan Qasem and Dan Tamir, professors in computer science who will make a presentation on frequency scaling instead of C-state solutions at the Fourth Annual Green Technologies Conference produced by Region 5 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held April 19-22, 2012, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The public is urged to attend by registering at the website.

Qasem and his research group are involved in a number of projects in the area of high-performance computing, including auto-tuning of parallel applications, locality and parallelism on shared-cache multi-core systems, and GPUs for general-purpose computation. Qasem's research has received support from IBM, Department of Energy, Semiconductor Research Consortium (SRC), Rice University and the Research Enhancement Program at Texas State University (TSU). In 2008, Qasem won the IBM Faculty Award for his work on memory hierarchy optimizations on chip multi-processor systems.

Qasem and Tarim previewed their work on the ScienceNews Radio Network program, the Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason speaking from Qasem's office at TSU. The program originates in Dallas, Texas, and is now archived and Webcast for its world audience. A photo of Qusam can be seen at the Examiner.

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