Saturday, April 21, 2012

IISc joins GreenTouch to reduce carbon footprint

In a move that could accelerate the process of reducing the carbon footprint, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has joined GreenTouch.

GreenTouch is a consortium of technology companies (like Alcatel Lucent), non-governmental researchers and academics that focus on communication and data networks, which form the backbone of the Internet. Typically, telecom and cell tower infrastructure companies emit a lot of carbons and are looking at ways to reduce it.

“With the expertise of IISc, we will be able to work at newer ways to reducing this carbon footprint. At present, this is at alarming levels and needs to be brought down by 15 per cent,” said Dr Gee Rittenhouse, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel-Lucent's Software, Services and Solutions Group.

Students at IISc will work on projects that are specific to GreenTouch that would centre around ways to increase energy efficiency in wireless communication. The former Vice-President of Bell Labs Wireless Research added that carbon emissions emanated by networking equipments such as routers and base station antennas need to be reduced.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry currently accounts for two per cent of worldwide carbon emissions, and that figure is expected to at least double over the next decade as more people seek to connect with each other, according to analysts. The students in IISc will also work on future architecture of networks.

“Modern day networks are optimised for performance and not energy efficiency. A network optimised for performance and energy implies a very different design and architecture and this precisely what is needed to be sustainable going forward,” said Dr Rittenhouse. He added that the consortium would bring in technologies such as Large Scale Antenna System (LSAS) that can harness the power of thousands of antennas without increase in additional power.

Growth of Internet usage is expected to drive growth in wireless access usage in India, which has more than 800 million cellphone subscribers.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, April 21, 2012

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