Sustainable Solutions for a Greener Future

As I mentioned earlier this month at the Silicon Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Sustainable Corporation 2011 Conference, we are at the center of the technological revolution. There are a projected 10 billion mobile connected devices to be sold over the next decade. The proliferation of mobile eclipsing PC sales for the first time suggests these “Always On” devices may have a greater long-term impact than the wired Internet. 

Behind such unparalleled mobility is an enormous infrastructure, handling 31,000 petabytes of data per month and growing. To give you a sense of scale, 1 petabyte is the equivalent of approximately 4.7 billion eBooks. This dramatic growth is taking its toll on IT infrastructure demands. Already, servers account for over three percent of all the energy consumed in the U.S. and that number continues to climb.  This industry is already the fourth largest contributing to CO2 emissions, just after the airline industry.

Here at Samsung Semiconductor, we’re escalating our Green solution outreach with memory products, power-efficient solid state drives, and eco-friendly LCD screens.  Other companies such as Dell, HP and IBM  are also stepping up to the plate. But the influence of a handful of companies is not enough to affect greater energy efficiency for sustainable IT across all industries.

Consider this: if all 32M servers were replaced with ones having green memory and SSDs, this could save 98 terawatt hours of electricity per year. That’s equivalent to eliminating 70M tons of CO2 emissions, or heating 8.5 million homes in a year.

The EPA recently calculated that a complete overhaul of data centers across the world could amount to 6 billion kilowatt-hours, or the equivalent to power about 350,000 homes, and $450 million per year in energy savings. That’s no small change. 

I made what I hope you will find to be a compelling case for the green technology movement as it relates to data centers at the March GSA Memory Conference, “Rewriting the IT Power Equation.” What are your thoughts on sustainability, IT and the technology revolution?