How Clean Is Your Cloud?

Cloud computing has been a hot topic for these past few years and it’s bringing its best game in changing the technology world, making life easier and faster. On the other hand, global warming has been an age old environmental topic that has got the world at its mercy. It is a term used to … Continue reading “How Clean Is Your Cloud?”

Cloud computing has been a hot topic for these past few years and it’s bringing its best game in changing the technology world, making life easier and faster. On the other hand, global warming has been an age old environmental topic that has got the world at its mercy. It is a term used to describe the century scale rise in the average temperature of the earth’s climate change and its related effects. But the question is, how does these two totally different topics have any relation and how do they affect each other?

Computer expects and environmentalist have questioned if cloud computing is an actual game changer or green washing. Cloud computers have been progressive in its advancement for years now. Another question that is asked is how clean is your cloud? Is the cloud harming the environment in any way?

With a general overview of both arguments, I would say it causes less harm to the environment as expected. From the environmentalist’s view, data centres are needed to keep up with the cloud server capacity intake resulting in high energy consumption meaning high level of consumption of fossil fuel which is harmful to the environment.

On the other hand, computer experts argue that there is a resource virtualization that has a single running multiple operating system that run simultaneously. This causes a tremendous reduction in the server footprint meaning the server occupying less space which is beneficial to the ecology thus reduce power consumption.

Also, in relation to cloud computing it is argued that data centres tend to be more energy efficient compared to server room. Many industries and companies now using the cloud infrastructure have resolved to data centres instead of server rooms. This is both beneficial to the companies and to the environment as well. The data centres are designed specifically for supporting large amount of computer hardware.

Despite data centres’ contribution to global warming, data centres are still finding ways and means to be energy efficient. They are less build-up of heat due to data centre virtualization. When there is a virtualization of data centres that means less hardware is used resulting in less heat been generated which in turn benefits the environment.

In addition to the data centre virtualization, there is a reduction in the carbon dioxide footprint like preferably using free cooling thus the natural air to cool data centres to using air conditioned devices to cool, energy monitoring software and power saving standby modes.

Even though users of cloud computing are trying to reduce its effect on the environment, there is still negative effects from the use of cloud to the environment. It is reported that the IT responsible for as much greenhouse gas generation as aviation industry with some server farms consuming the energy equivalent of 180000 homes. There is an old saying that a man cannot serve two masters but I think Cloud computing is defying that adage by serving two masters thus harming the environment and saving the environment at the same time.

High end organizations like Google and Yahoo are also trying their best to promote greener data centres by reducing energy consumptions at its data centres by increasing its use of renewable energy.

Small companies and individuals can also do their possible best to help save the environment by using the cloud server to store information for easy access than printing sheets of papers every day. This will go a long way to help the environment.

From my perspective, my cloud is fairly clean. The cloud users are finding ways to make it more beneficial to the environment. It will take time for every cloud user to be on board but as long as the process is on-going and significant contributions are being made, my cloud is fairly clean.

How to Build A CPU

As we stepped into the information era, more high-tech devices are required to access this information. All those devices require a powerful CPU to process massive data in order to let people access the latest information. People always think that creating a CPU is the same as printing an electronic board. However, the manufacturing of CPU is closely related to chemistry.

When companies like Intel and AMD decide to make CPUs, the ultimate puzzle for them is how to organize something with 1,000,000,000 pieces, and then create a plan so it can be put together correctly and at once. Most CPUs, both commercial and professional, are smaller than half of a credit card size. The only way to solve this problem is to use chemistry. The process of making CPU is called fabrication. The structure of CPU is so complex that even a single dust could ruin the complex circuitry on a chip.

The main component of chips is silicon, and sand has a high percentage of silicon. First silicon is purified to less than one alien atom per billion. The most common way of doing this is to first transform sand to metallurgical grade silicon by using the following reaction: SiO2 + C = Si + CO2 Then, scientists will transfer metallurgical grade silicon to electronic grade, which has less number of alien atoms. They use Si + 3HCl = SiHCl3 + H2. During this reaction, the impurities such as Fe, Al, and B will react with HCl and form other substances. the SiHCl3 has a low boiling point of 31.8 C and distillation is used to purify the SiHCl3 from the impure halides. At last, SiHCl3 will react with hydrogen at 1100 C for 200 ~300 hours to produce a very pure form of silicon.

After pure silicon is produced, they will cut the silicon ingot into individual discs that are called wafers. Each wafer is about one mm thick. After that, the photolithography process begins. Most of the photolithography is based on Diazoquinones (DQ). There are few steps to finish the photolithography process. Start with a DQ molecule (the molecule is a manufacturer variation), The DQ molecule will not dissolve in a base developer solution. UV light breaks the nitrogen molecule off, forming an unstable molecule. To stabilize itself, one of the carbon atoms in the ring pops out of the ring. Once the solution is exposed to water, an OH group attaches to the carbon atoms, forming and acid. The Acid can then react and dissolve with the basic developer solution. In this way, the manufacturer can “print” circuit patterns on the wafer. The manufacturer will repeat this procedure again and again until they have a multilayer processor. They will also use this method to print other parts and gates on the processor.

This is how a processor is created. It uses a lot of chemical reactions to carve the circuit on the silicon wafers. According to the Moore’s Law, the number of transistors on a chip roughly doubles every couple of years. Therefore, there will be more ways for Intel and AMD to create a more powerful CPU.