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Meta finances RISE research on more resource-efficient data centers

Meta finances RISE research on more resource-efficient data centers

22 December 2022, 16:27

Meta has decided to fund research in resource-efficient data centers with the goal of significantly reducing energy use in computing resources through better holistic control of cooling. This is part of a US$2.5 million European program to support independent academic research across Europe to study issues and opportunities in what Meta calls the metaverse.

- Advances in the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality applications have led to an increase in resource use and data volumes, which can lead to an increase in energy consumption and carbon footprint. Our research aims to find and develop resource-efficient holistic methods that enable a considerable improvement in the cooling of servers for the calculations, says Tor Björn Minde, head of unit within ICE data center research and adjunct professor in systems engineering at RISE.

Researchers in seven European countries will investigate the connection between technology to develop the metaverse and issues such as sustainability, privacy, security, inclusion and the future of work. At RISE, two projects will be carried out. One will focus on the global computing and communication infrastructure, which drives the metaverse within the framework of sustainability and resource-efficient technology solutions. The second project will assess what is required for Sweden to be able to adopt a nationwide education program in Virtual Reality with the aim of working towards a vision of sustainable VR education for all.

Meta is an American multinational management company that owns, among others, Facebook, Instagram, Oculus VR and Whatsapp. Last year, the Meta XR Programs and Research Fund announced a two-year, $50 million investment in programs and external research to explore how to build these technologies responsibly. This investment is part of that fund.

- This work is about making research widely available that can help academics, civil society, policy makers and wider industry understand and address the potential impacts of future technologies. By making this research public, we hope to increase understanding around sustainability issues linked to metaverse, says Janne Elvelid, Head of Public Policy Sweden & Finland at Meta.

Tor Björn Minde
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