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Sunderland to harness green computer power

22.05.2007
One of world’s first environmentally friendly grid computers has been designed by experts at the University of Sunderland.

The new computer system will not only offer the processing power of a multi-million pound computer at an affordable price to small businesses, but will do so without damaging the environment.

The university designed grid system uses a cluster of smaller interconnected computers to create a powerful single system.

Although this has been attempted in the past the Sunderland team have concentrated on improving the network which connects the computers and have succeeded in not only improving and accelerating the processing power of the computer, but have also cut down on the massive expenditure of energy.

The system, which will be fully operational by June, was designed with assistance from Dell Computers and Cisco Systems.

Professor John Tindle, who is leading the research team, says: “Our grid is probably the first to be designed to work in an open space without air conditioning.

“Because the network is optimised, the jobs can complete in the fastest possible time, unlike other grids. As grids consume large amounts of power and push out lots of heat, our faster grid is a lot better for the environment.”

Grid or cluster computers bring the power of multi-million pound computers to organisations who could not afford such computing power.

Grid computers can also enhance existing systems such as business systems, renewable energy forecasting, fluid dynamics, and biosciences.

Prof Tindle added: “Unfortunately many of the benefits of Grid systems are accompanied by many negative environmental factors such as the amount of heat they produce and electricity they consume.

“Our initial research into network design for Grid computers looks extremely promising and we hope our results will to lead to better, greener design and performance for a new generation of affordable powerful computers.”

Tony Kerr | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sunderland.ac.uk

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