Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP
HP Newsroom  >  News releases

News release


Company information

» Newsroom home
» News releases
  » Online press kits
  » Media relations contacts
  » Executive leadership
  » Newsroom archive
  » Videos
  » B-roll
  » Blogs
  » RSS feeds
Company info
  » Fast facts
  » Financial information
  » Global citizenship
  » HP Labs
  » Company history
More info
  » In the news
  » Awards
  » Student inquiries
  » Recalls and replacement programs
  » Trademarks

Content starts here

HP Labs Advances Sustainable IT with New Research Projects

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 4, 2008

HP today announced new research initiatives from HP Labs, the company’s central research arm, aimed at developing new technologies and business models that leave a lighter carbon footprint.

Initially, HP Labs will focus its research in sustainability on three major projects, including: an industry-first initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of data centers by 75 percent; groundbreaking research to replace copper wiring in servers with laser light beams; and tools for measuring and managing the amount of energy used to develop products.

Sustainability is one of five major research themes of the newly redesigned HP Labs, which recently refocused its efforts to address the most complex challenges facing technology customers in the next decade.

“HP’s long-standing commitment to the environment is second to none in the technology industry. Today, HP Labs extends our dedication with these important research initiatives that will advance the state of the art in sustainable IT,” said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president, research, and director, HP Labs. “HP Labs will lead the industry in developing the technology that could dramatically reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint of entire industries.”

The ultimate sustainable data center

HP Labs unveiled its Sustainable Data Center project, which is focused on reducing the carbon footprint of data centers by 75 percent while simultaneously reducing the total cost of ownership. For example, an average data center that consumes five megawatts of electricity annually could power more than 4,300 homes in the United States for a year. This research project will enable companies to drastically reduce the amount of electricity consumed in the data center.

Under the leadership of Chandrakant Patel, HP Fellow and director of the Sustainable IT Ecosystem Lab, researchers will study how energy is used and managed for the entire lifetime of a data center, from its design, synthesis, operation and end-of-life for its components. The research team, which includes computer scientists, materials scientists, physicists, and mechanical and electrical engineers, will use this information to develop data center technologies that achieve a massive reduction in resource consumption while maintaining performance, reliability and uptime requirements.

HP expects this research to open up new markets for its business by extending the technology to other areas such as smart buildings, grids and print factories.

Replacing copper with light to improve energy efficiency

A second sustainability research initiative is focused on replacing the copper-based electrical connections used in today’s IT systems with optical laser communication links.

The Photonic Interconnect project, led by HP Senior Fellow and Director of Information and Quantum Systems Lab, R. Stanley Williams, builds on years of research dedicated to building photonic optical connections and components.

Photonic interconnections make it possible to fit dozens, and eventually hundreds, of processors on server system chips. In addition, the optical connections are 20 times more efficient than what is on the market today and will save companies multiple gigawatts of power annually, thus driving down IT costs. The photonic interconnects, which range in distance from 100 meters to 100 nanometers, also enable more flexible system configurations that can be quickly redeployed based on business needs.

New approach for modeling and measuring energy and material use

HP Labs also introduced a new project, to be led by Patel, focused on developing a set of tools that can model, predict, measure and manage the environmental impact of product manufacturing, supply chains and business processes.

HP will develop software and services tools to measure and manage key environmental impact metrics, such as carbon emissions, total energy usage and non-recoverable energy consumption. HP will use the tools to help customers re-engineer their businesses to be more sustainable and cost-effective through the innovative use of IT. This project will initially focus on three primary areas:

  • HP Labs researchers are developing analyses of commercial printing and publishing industries that compare the sustainability impact of their current business models against a reduced impact that would result from the deployment of new research technologies. The aim is to identify and quantify how such research technologies can be best deployed to increase efficiency and reduce resource and energy use as well as carbon emissions. HP plans to extend this research to its customers in other vertical industries.
  • HP Labs researchers have developed a unique approach to quantify the costs and environmental impact of a product by looking at the amount of available energy, known as exergy, that was used in that product’s life cycle from extraction, manufacturing, shipping, usage and recycling. HP Labs and the University of California at Berkeley have jointly developed the Lifetime Exergy Advisor, a software tool designed to assess a product’s total environmental impact through joules, units of available energy. The Lifetime Exergy Advisor can help organizations determine the environmental benefits gained from using alternative materials and processes across every phase of the product life cycle. HP believes that as the world’s energy resources are increasingly tapped, companies will measure the amount of joules associated with the creation of a product much they way they measure dollars, so joules will be valued as much as currency.
  • To harness the knowledge of the world’s leading experts in sustainability, HP Labs researchers plan to create an open online resource, called a “sustainability hub,” to gather and share data and information about the sustainable design of products. Sustainability experts, researchers, scientists, engineers and academia from around the world are invited to contribute to the hub, which will have a repository of research information dedicated to the development of tools and methodologies for sustainability. The sustainability hub is expected to be available to the public in 2009. HP Labs intends to apply the data in future research to quantify the amount of available energy used when new products and supply chains are created across the entire global ecosystem.

More information on these projects is available at the HP Labs website at www.hpl.hp.com.

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $110.4 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2008. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the achievement of expected results; and other risks that are described in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2008 and HP’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2007. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2008 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Printable version
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to webmaster
© 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.