Computing Solutions Group: Projects

The Computing Solutions Group is focused on research breakthroughs in the following areas:

Energy-proportional Computation: While data servers are designed to operate most efficiently at peak demand, they usually operate at only 30-50% capacity. The Computing Solutions Group has developed a family of “barely-alive” computing states that produce up to 38% energy savings by selectively shutting down unnecessary components and while retaining access to critical data.

Also in this area, Institute researchers are optimizing computer components such as hard drives, RAM, and microchips for speed and efficiency. One promising energy-proportional echnology is memristors, a hybrid memory and processing technology, which could eventually perform memory, storage and even computation in a single piece of hardware. By potentially replacing disk drives, memristors could increase the energy efficiency of storage by more than 1000x.

Cloud Computing: Virtualization, the technology responsible for the rise of “cloud” computing has the potential to save 60-70% of the energy dedicated to data servers. To hasten this shift, Institute faculty have developed open-source cloud infrastructure and application platforms for researching and improving the capabilities of cloud-based networks.

Wireless Networks:  Our faculty have also pioneered low-cost and energy-efficient wireless networks in developing countries that automatically adjust to service disruptions. The Institute is also researching tools to create on-the-fly internet hotspots, built by tethering together the capability of multiple mobile phones while maximizing battery life.

Managing the Power-Water Nexus: Efficient water usage depends, critically, on efficient power management strategies and vice versa. Nearly 20% fo all power consumed in California is related to water usage in some way. Researchers are studying how novel cloud architectures and "The Internet of Things" can be combined to manage and optimize the power-water usage.

Sustainable Energy Technologies for Datacenter Operations: Institute researchers are studying how renewable energy sources can be combined with new Information Technology research toa chieve sustainable Datacenter operations.

Click here to learn more about UC Santa Barbara's efforts to improve the energy efficiency of data centers and computing.The Institute’s Computing Solutions Group is playing a leading role in stimulating a revolution in data efficiency to match the one in data creation and delivery. Combined, these advancements have the potential to build the energy-proportional, virtual and ultra-efficient data center and, in the process, make the next leap in Internet speed and power possible.

Highlights of Recent Research:

Advances in Computing Technology: Memristors and Neural Applications

Developing low-cost Cellular Network Architecture for Remote Areas

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