Turning the Tide: Power Efficient Memory For an Energy Efficient Server

Not only are great processors required to Turn the Tide on Data Center Energy Consumption, you also need highly optimized platform components, such as memory.

I sat in on a talk by Samsung was at IDF 2010 (Yes, I am still catching up on my notes!) showing off their latest capability to build memory that requires far less power to run than ever before.  Their new memory, known as “Green DDR3”  promises substantial power reduction in the server and at the data center.

The energy consumption costs for all server systems worldwide amounts to 32 billion dollars annually according to IDC data.  The potential savings with Samsung Green DDR3 is upwards of 7 billion dollars per year.  If all servers in the world used this memory, we would achieve more than a 20 percent reduction in server energy use.

Samsung says its Green DDR3 Memory not only enables a more efficient server system, but it significantly improves the total cost of ownership by reducing rack, room space costs,  and data center energy and cooling costs.  This is made possible not only by using a 1.35 voltage instead of more common 1.8 volt or 1.5 volt configurations,  but also by migrating to  30 nanometer technology node. They also have increased the density per memory module to 4Gb per DDR3 chip.

In a single server, 2.9 MWh of energy can be saved per server per year using Samsung Green DDR3 memory, as calculated for a 48 GB memory configuration (compared to a system with older FBDIMM in a data center with a PUE of 2.0).  In a 1000U datacenter, that would amount to nearly $300,000 or 3 TWh of energy per year based on an electricty cost of $0.10/kWh. Pretty big savings.

It’s great to see our industry partners like Samsung delivering such amazing energy reduction in state of the art technology. As I’ve emphasized in many past blogs, your call to action is to consider the energy efficiency of every component of your server to achieve optimum platform TCO.