Sunday, January 10, 2010

Green Touch Initiative Seeks Fundamental Gains in Network Efficiency

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs has organized a consortium of leading researchers to create the technologies needed to make communications networks 1000 times more energy efficient than they are today. Specifically, the Green Touch initiative aims to develop and demonstrate fundamental technologies within five years that could lead to radical redesign of how networks are built and operated.

Researchers at Bell Labs calculate that wireless networks theoretically could be 10,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. Optical networks, in principle, could reach energy efficiency levels even lower than that. Significant efficiency gains could be possible by rethinking and improving transport, circuits, coding and protocols. Working groups will be established in each of these areas. The five year plan is to create a reference network architecture and demonstrations of the key components required to realize this improvement.

The consortium hopes to draw on expertise across the industry and around the world. Initial members of the Green Touch initiative include:

  • AT&T

  • Bell Labs

  • China Mobile

  • CEA-LETI Applied Research Institute for Microelectronics

  • Freescale Semiconductor

  • Foundation for Mobile Communications

  • IMEC

  • The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE)

  • Portugal Telecom

  • Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT)

  • Stanford University's Wireless Systems Lab (WSL)

  • Swisscom

  • Telefonica

  • University of Melbourne's Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES)
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The first meeting will be held in February in New Jersey.

"Truly global challenges have always been best addressed by bringing together the brightest minds in an unconstrained, creative environment. This was what we used when putting a man on the moon and is the same approach we need to implement to address the global climate crisis. The Green Touch initiative is an example of such a response - bringing together scientists and technologists from around the world and from many different disciplines in an environment of open innovation to attack the problem from many different directions," said Dr. Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy.