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Energy-Efficient Computing Work Earns Science Foundation's Support


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A green circuit board.

ASU professor Carole-Jean Wu hopes to identify hotspots on central processing units, and to convert the heat being generated at those hotspots into electricity, reducing the system's outside energy requirements.

Credit: GreenTech

Arizona State University professor Carole-Jean Wu recently received the Science Foundation Arizona's Bisgrove Scholar Award, which will provide $100,000 in each of the next two years to fund her research into reducing energy consumption in computing systems.

Wu aims to locate hotspots in central processing units (CPUs) and efficiently convert the heat being generated by the system into electrical energy to power a computer's battery or a cooling mechanism. Wu already has constructed a basic prototype to measure the efficiency of a thermoelectric device when it is placed between the CPU and the heat sink. After the conversion efficiency is determined, Wu will study different ways to use the harvested electrical energy.

"With this additional energy that we can harvest from the heat, the energy management solutions will be very different in the future than the solutions we use today," Wu says.

She notes that any device using a computing system that generates heat can benefit from the technology she is using for energy conversion.

From ASU News
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