& cplSiteName &

AlcaLu Leads New Green Mission

Ray Le Maistre
1/11/2010
50%
50%

LONDON -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Bell Labs is leading a new initiative, dubbed Green Touch, to develop technology that can help make the world's networks 1,000 times more energy-efficient. (See Alcatel-Lucent Launches Green Touch.)

The idea is to develop, from scratch, a network framework, and the requisite technologies, that will reduce the power consumption of the world's communications networks (including the Internet) to such an extent that, even with the current and future dramatic growth of data and video traffic, the ICT (information and communication technologies) industry's carbon emissions and power costs will decrease in the future, instead of rising as they are at the moment.

The Green Touch consortium, which comprises 15 founding members, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Freescale Semiconductor Inc. , the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Research Laboratory for Electronics, and Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology, as well as Bell Labs, has a "five-year quest to achieve sustainable networking," the group announced here today at a launch press conference.

So, as Spock might say, it's an initiative, Jim, but not as we know it.

But is it logical? [Ed. note: Enough with the Trekkie stuff... I'm an editor, dammit, not a miracle worker!]

Well, the goal is that the new framework and technologies will result in such a dramatic reduction in energy requirements that the amount of power required to run the world's current communications networks for one day will be enough to power future networks for three years.

That would result in a major cost reduction for operators, and lead to a major cut in carbon emissions. According to Gee Rittenhouse, head of research at Bell Labs and the initiative's leader, today's networks create 300 million tons of carbon dioxide gases each year.

"This is a game-changer for everyone," stated AlcaLu CEO Ben Verwaayen.

The initiative is led by Bell Labs because its scientists and engineers came up with the initial research that showed, in theory, that today's networks could be 10,000 times more energy efficient. That, though, is a theoretical limit that is not practical to aim for, stated Rittenhouse, so instead, the consortium is aiming for a target of a 1,000-fold reduction in power within five years. "Eco-sustainability is crucial for ICT," stated the Bell Labs man.

Funding will come from the consortium members and from governments. Verwaayen stressed that, as a research initiative, this isn't going to be a massive drain on anyone's financial resources, and that the total research cost would be in "tens of millions of whatever currency you want to use," with AlcaLu more than willing to put in its fair share.

The resulting intellectual property will be shared amongst the consortium's members, noted Rittenhouse, and any resulting technologies would go through the usual standards processes and industry adoption procedures.

Redesigns in the making?
What is unclear, though (even after questioning Rittenhouse and others involved in the initiative), is what can be expected of the global ICT industry if the project is successful. Do the Green Touch members expect the world's ICT players (all of which are invited to join the consortium) to redesign their products, networks, and strategies at untold cost? And what might the cost be?

Rittenhouse would say only that he expects the group to achieve its five-year goal, and that the subsequent demonstration of the resulting technologies will create "such a level of excitement" that it will be picked up and built upon "very quickly." The factor-of-1,000 efficiency gains will "lead to rapid adoption. The technologies we are talking about don't exist today... We want to create confidence in the industry" that such gains can be attained and to provide the initial capabilities that can act as a starting point for the industry.

Rittenhouse added that this initiative represents an opportunity for the ICT industry to work together as never before and, instead of just optimizing for growth, speed, and performance, to focus on optimizing for energy efficiency, too.

His colleague, Daniel Kilper, a member of the optical department's technical staff at Bell Labs, added that the overall aim of the initiative is to "set the industry down a new track... the track of energy efficiency," and that while there is a five-year target to deliver some results, "this is a long-term play."

All of which sounds very well intentioned, but somewhat unquantifiable. The big unknowns are how any resulting new technologies would be deployed and integrated into existing networks, what the benefits might be if there isn't widespread adoption, and what the actual business case for network operators will be, even if the resulting technologies can deliver unthinkable levels of energy efficiency.

But unless someone tries to achieve such admirable goals, we'll never know what the outcome might be.

To find out more about Green Touch, check out this Light Reading TV interview with Rittenhouse and Verwaayen.



— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
t.bogataj
50%
50%
t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:45:01 PM
re: AlcaLu Leads New Green Mission


I can't wait to see a router's consumption be reduced from say 100W today to 0.1W in five years! Given the know figures, such a router will have no Ethernet ports and will be switched off permanently. Now _that_ is power efficiency!


Does the initiative hold its meetings in Copenhagen?

Phil Morrison
50%
50%
Phil Morrison,
User Rank: Moderator
12/5/2012 | 4:44:58 PM
re: AlcaLu Leads New Green Mission


The claim is that the Internet operates at about a factor of 10,000 times more then the absolute "minimum" energy required. 


Experts from industry, academia, government and non profit research institutions around the world are working on new approaches for energy efficiency as well as new technologies to drive sustainable networks in the decades to come.


Will we see an internet router that consumes .1w in the next 5 years, your guess is as good as mine. That said how much energy do virtual routers consume? How many virtual routers are able to share the same Ethernet Interface you are referring to? 


The real question you probably need to ask yourself is "what is the Internet".  I would suggest that it extends beyond the Internet router you are currently focused on.


 


Cheers,


Phil..

jepovic
50%
50%
jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:44:57 PM
re: AlcaLu Leads New Green Mission


PC technology have had an amazing improvement in power efficiency since laptops became the major market. I dont have the technical insight, but my guess is that there are huge potential improvements to be made if telecom mfgs really make an effort. What is the average link load on a router - 1%? Less? 1000 times improvement seems outrageous, but 10 times should surely be doable. In the car industry, they would kill for such improvements.

Barry_Gray
50%
50%
Barry_Gray,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:44:47 PM
re: AlcaLu Leads New Green Mission
I agree, an improvement of 1000 seems unreasonable. I have seen a reputable study though that indicates simply replacing all of the existing PSTN equipment with an all IP network will result in a 10:1 improvement with the equipment available today. There is a lot more involved here then just reduction in the power consumption of a router.
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (0) comments


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Apple Looking to Cook 5G Test Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.