Intel says turn up the heat

For ages, data centre designers have been working out ways to keep chips cool and this mostly involves spending a fortune on air con.

Now Intel has said that one way to save a fortune on air con isto allow its chips to get hotter.

At the moment servers sit in rooms cooled to a brisk 18 to 21 degrees Celsius, so that they do not get too hot and malfunction. But, by 2014, the amount of lecky used to keep servers cool will have doubled.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald,  chipmakers have been researching better ways to get their products cooler, but Jay Kyathsandra, an Intel marketing manager, said that by using new software and hardware it is possible to get a detailed picture of what’s hot and what’s not.

This allows data centres to spread work around to different computers to keep them cool. By doing that and using some other technologies which Intel sells, it is possible to turn the heat up in the server room past 37 degrees.

Not the most pleasant place to work, but it would drop the electricity bill considerably. The only difficulty Intel has is convincing customers the approach is safe.

IDC has worked out that by allowing the average temperature in data centres to rise by nine degrees would cut $2.16 billion in annual power budgets. This is the amount of power Spain or South Africa uses in a month, according to Intel’s research.

Facebook has already started operating some of their computer centres at higher temperatures, helping them save money. But Chipzilla wants people to go further. To prove it, Intel is running one of its own data centres in New Mexico at 32.5C. It has saved it 67 percent on its electricity bill.

In more than 95 percent of the world, a data cente would not need any air con and and outside air alone would do the trick.

Intel is working with  Dell and NEC to change their policies so that these outfits sell machines certified to operate at higher temperatures.