Energy use at huge data farms could decrease by as much as 20 percent if WSU’s new computer chip with a wireless network on it becomes a commercial reality. Dr. Partha Pande, a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with Professors Deukhyoun Heo and Benjamin Belzer, published a paper on their research in the May issue of an emerging technologies publication and have filed two patents on  their chip design.

The innovation would also speed up data processing and replace the conventional metal wires on current computer chips that are wasteful in long range data exchanges. Sustainable computing is growing as a field because of  the increase in data warehouse capacities. It is reported one of the 2000 US data centers consumes as much electricity as a medium sized town. These large centers are searching for ways to improve efficiency and conserve resources.

Dr. Pande has been working on this research project since 2005. It allows for wireless links between data processing cores, compared to the current movement through slower wires between cores. The computer chips have what they describe as miniature cell tower systems on them. Since last year, these innovators have been building and testing the computer chips on state of the art equipment. Some of these new chips can transmit data up to 10 times faster than current chips.

More information on Dr. Pande’s team’s research can be found at: https://news.wsu.edu/2014/07/01/research-could-lead-to-dramatic-data-farm-energy-savings/#.U7MuKrH5dps.

Graphic of computer chip from WSU news                        chips-500-300x172