Advertisement: Excalibur Healthcare mid banner
Advertisement: CJBS mid banner
Advertisement: TTP
ARM Innovation Hub
Advertisement: S-Tech mid banner 3
Advertisement: Birketts mid banner
Advertisement: RSM mid banner
Advertisement: Mogrify mid banner
Advertisement: Kao Data Centre mid banner
Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
Advertisement: Wild Knight Vodka
Advertisement: EBCam mid banner
Advertisement: HCR Hewitsons mid banner
Cambridgeand mid banner advertisement
Advertisement: Simpsons Creative mid banner
Advertisement: partnersand mid banner
Mid banner advertisement: BDO
Advertisement: SATAVIA mid banner
Advertisement: Bar Ellison mid banner property
Advertisement: Cambridge Network mid banner
4 November, 2021 - 11:55 By Tony Quested

Arm chips into the fight to decarbonise compute

Cambridge superchip architect Arm believes the technology at the heart of its ecosystem can lay the foundation for a net-zero emissions future. Its latest report – ‘Decarbonizing Compute’ – explores the opportunities.

It says urgent action is needed to address the global climate emergency. 

The report states: “The World Economic Forum describes the digital technology sector as ‘the world’s most powerful influencer to accelerate action’ on climate change, estimating that digital solutions could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2030.

“The potential for optimisation and efficiency is tantalising. But digital technology is not a silver bullet: it, too, has a carbon cost.

“Decarbonising compute is a key part of Arm’s strategy for providing an efficient, low-carbon foundation for digital innovation – even as we work to close the digital divide and connect everyone, everywhere.

“We want to maximise performance per watt, empowering our ecosystem to drive down energy consumption and help reduce carbon emissions.”

Arm says that partners in its ecosystem are already leveraging Arm IP to unlock efficiencies and reduce energy consumption.

The report draws on ‘How Digital Technologies Are the Key to Reducing Emissions’ – a recent white paper from 451/S&P Global Intelligence, commissioned by Arm, exploring how leveraging digital technology in four sectors (energy and utilities, buildings, data centres, and transportation) will have a major impact on emission reductions.

Arm highlights four key areas, arguing that:- 

  • Smart control of energy networks can manage peaks and troughs in renewable energy supply and consumer demand 
  • AI, IoT, and cloud and edge services can precisely monitor energy-consuming fixtures to reduce emissions created by homes and commercial buildings 
  • Hyperscale cloud providers can shift data centre workloads to regions with cleaner, cheaper power while minimising performance impacts 
  • Electric vehicles’ data sharing can help drivers and transportation entities reduce the emissions, energy consumption and lost time caused by traffic congestion 

The Arm report continues: “As we approach 2030, the year targeted for global net-zero carbon, digital technologies must bring environmental or societal benefits that outweigh their own emissions.

“Low-carbon processing will become increasingly important as a key lever both in decarbonising individual footprints, and meeting global targets.”

Arm says the tension between technology as a solution to environmental problems and an exacerbating factor is not new. Technology roadmaps will have to place an even greater focus on efficiency to reduce overall power consumption as demand for cloud services and digital technologies grows, the company argues.

Arm’s first CPU – the Arm1 – was designed to run at <1W. In testing, despite a problem with the power supply, the chip ran perfectly. It was found to be running on energy harvested from the surrounding chips, consuming just 0.1W. This energy efficiency laid the foundations for the low-power compute Arm is famous for today.

Newsletter Subscription

Stay informed of the latest news and features