Google, Universities Pledge to Improve Semiconductor Energy Efficiency - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial  -  April 25, 2024

Google, Universities Pledge to Improve Semiconductor Energy Efficiency

Google, Vital Integration of Environmental Electronics, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and the Florida Semiconductor Institute signed a pledge to improve the energy efficiency of semiconductors. 

The Energy Efficiency Scaling for 2 Decades (EES2) pledge was drafted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and now has 65 signatories, including Google, Intel, Microsoft, Micron, Synopsys, ARM, AMD, and other leading organizations in government, academia and high-technology industries. 

These signatories will work together to reduce energy consumption from rapidly expanding semiconductor applications, such as industrial-scale data centers. 

“From transportation to finance to healthcare to national defense, every pillar of the modern world relies on semiconductor technology,” said Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Under Secretary for Science and Innovation, in a statement. “DOE is thrilled to work with a growing list of partners who share our commitment to the sustainability of this indispensable industry. Together, we can achieve the increased energy efficiencies in computer architectures and data centers needed now, and for decades to come.”

During the past 30 years, energy efficiency improvements in the semiconductor industry fell behind due to surging global demand for computing and artificial intelligence technologies. 

Semiconductor applications are now the fastest-growing electricity consumers and could soon account for the largest share of global GHG emissions associated with electricity use. 

In 2021, the Semiconductor Research Corporation predicted that computing would consume 20% of the energy produced worldwide by 2030. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated recently that GHG emissions associated with semiconductors would quadruple within the same timeframe. 

The goal of the EES2 initiative is to reverse these trends by increasing the energy efficiency of semiconductor applications 1,000-fold over the next 20 years. 

The initiative established several priorities for the U.S. semiconductor industry, including:

  • Reducing semiconductor energy consumption at the material, device, circuit and architecture scale and
  • Guiding new technology investments funded through the CHIPS and Science Act.

“We're committed to developing and deploying artificial intelligence to help address the challenge posed by climate change,” said Kate Brandt, Chief Sustainability Officer at Google. “As we look to the future, it's essential that the technology industry build on our longstanding focus on improving energy efficiency at all levels of the value chain, including at the materials and hardware level.”


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