Making communication network 1,000 times more energy efficient, Green Touch

Green Touch is a new consortium announced today.  cnet news has a post.

Industry group to apply green touch to telecom

by Lance Whitney

A new industry group is hoping that the same amount of energy now used to power the Internet and other global networks for one day will eventually power them for three years.

Unveiled by its organizer Bell Labs on Monday, the global consortium, dubbed Green Touch, has set a challenging agenda for itself--to plan and demonstrate the necessary technologies to make today's networks 1,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. The group's deadline is 2015, giving it just five years in which to determine and show how to dramatically slash the carbon emissions from all global networks.

The group says its agenda is fueled by two issues: 1) the world's networks are eating up more energy at a faster pace as we increasingly demand more from them; and 2) research has shown that today's networks use more energy than they need to. If left unchecked, the industry's energy usage is projected to double over the next 10 years. Yet based on its own analysis, Bell Labs believes our global networks can actually be 10,000 times more efficient than they are now.

Here is a Green Touch video.

The Green Touch web site is here.

Green Touch ™

Global Vision

Green Touch is a consortium of leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, academic and non-governmental research experts dedicated to fundamentally transforming communications and data networks, including the Internet, and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of ICT devices, platforms and networks.

Global Mission

By 2015, our goal is to deliver the architecture, specifications and roadmap — and demonstrate key components — needed to reduce energy consumption per user by a factor of 1000 from current levels.

Green Touch members and the global community will benefit from:

  • Dramatic reductions in energy consumption, carbon footprint and operating cost
  • Nothing less than the reinvention of today’s communications networks
  • Unprecedented collaboration between leading experts from around the world
  • Application of fundamental research in exciting new areas
  • Opportunities to bring innovative new ideas, products and solutions to market

The vision of the work is based on Shannon’s law.

According to Shannon’s theory, network users could consume as little as 1 milliwatt each. That’s 25,000 times less than the 25 watts of energy consumed by the average network user today. Guided by Shannon’s beacon, scientists and engineers at Bell Labs are striving to develop new approaches to network design that will greatly reduce energy consumption and, in so doing, contribute to the fight against climate change.

Here is a video for Shannon’s law.

The business side of Green Touch is most likely driven by the upgrading of existing equipment.  See the list of members for who benefits from Green Touch’s ideas.

  • AT&T
  • Bell Labs
  • China Mobile
  • CEA-LETI Applied Research Institute for Microelectronics
  • Freescale Semiconductor
  • Foundation for Mobile Communications
  • IMEC
  • The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE)
  • Portugal Telecom
  • Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT)
  • Stanford University’s Wireless Systems Lab (WSL)
  • Swisscom
  • Telefonica
  • University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES)