Intel’s engineers compared the power consumption of current generation Core processors with that of previous generations of processors. They came up with some impressive savings, so has Greenpeace found a friend in the semiconductor industry?
Calculating the amount of energy that has been saved over the last two years by taking into consideration power consumption, number of processors sold and the length of time they were expected to be running, engineers estimated a saving of 20 Terawatt hours compared to what earlier generations would have used over the same amount of time.
General Manager of Intel’s Eco-Technology Program Lorie Wigle published an article on an Intel blog explaining how the energy efficiency of the Core microarchitecture has saved the world economy $2 Billion in energy costs since its launch in 2006, assuming a $0.10 per kWh price tag.
The electricity bill for businesses that run computers 24 hours a day can be quite expensive. Using components with lower power consumption can cut costs significantly over the long term. While maximum performance is generally desired by end users more than reducing their carbon footprint, reductions in energy costs is always a welcome bonus.
Ironically, Intel recently began shipping their new dual-core Atom 330 processor, which has a power consumption double that of the Atom 230. While the Atom 330 itself does not significantly contribute to the world’s power consumption compared to Intel’s far more powerful desktop parts, this move goes completely against the semiconductor giant’s claim to be able to "have [their] cake and eat it too" - increase performance while reducing power consumption.