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Innovation Promises To Cut Massive Power Use At Big Data Companies In A Flash

Big data needs big power. The server farms that undergird the Internet run on a vast tide of electricity. Even companies that have invested in upgrades to minimize their eco-footprint use tremendous amounts: The New York Times estimates that Google, for example, uses enough electricity in its data centers to power about 200,000 homes. Now, a team of Princeton University engineers has a solution that could radically cut that power use. Through a new software technique, researchers from the School of Engineering and Applied Science have opened the door for companies to use a new type of memory in their servers that demands far less energy than the current systems. The software, called SSDAlloc, allows the companies to substitute solid state memory, commonly called flash memory, for the more expensive and energy-intensive type of memory that is now used for most computer operations.

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