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The ECS Lecture

The Origins of and Imperative for Green IT

by Bernard S. Meyerson

Monday, October 8, 2007 | Washington, DC

Bernard S. MeyersonIn this talk, Dr. Meyerson will cover the latest trend in technology: how the industry went over a power cliff many did not see coming, driving the need for dramatic strategy shifts and technology innovations going forward; and how collaborative innovation is becoming the gold standard for joint efforts.

When the silicon technology train came off the rails after forty years of linear progress, the impact of that departure was staggering. It was marked by the end of the close coupling between the regular scaling of chip density, well known as Moore’s law, and the associated improvements in technology performance. As materials crucial to chip performance (e.g., aluminum and silicon dioxide) reached the end of their useful lives, one no longer obtained performance benefits from ever more aggressive device dimensions. Those caught unaware encountered unacceptable spikes in chip and associated system power requirements. Combining this “progress” in chip technology with high density packaging had led to a crisis in data centers worldwide, where the energy costs of operating such data centers approached those of provisioning them. The increasing carbon footprint associated with information technology (IT), though still modest, forewarns of action required to prevent out-of-control growth. This talk will address the origins of the challenges we now face, and actions underway in technology and systems to proactively address this now critical issue impacting the future of all IT.

Bernard S. Meyerson is Vice-President for Strategic Alliances and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group (STG). In 1980, Dr. Meyerson joined IBM Research as a staff member, leading the development of silicon germanium and other high performance technologies over a period of 10 years. In 1992, Dr. Meyerson was appointed an IBM Fellow, IBM’s highest technical honor.

In 2003 he assumed operational responsibility as the head of IBM’s Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC), and led the world’s largest semiconductor development consortium, with members being IBM, Sony, Toshiba, AMD, Samsung, Chartered Semiconductor, and Infineon.

Dr. Meyerson has received numerous awards for his work, which include the Materials Research Society Medal, the ECS Electronics and Photonics Division Award, the IEEE Ernst Weber Award for the body of work culminating in the commercialization of Si-Ge-based communications technology, and the IEEE Electron Devices Society J. J. Ebers Award.

Dr. Meyerson was cited as “Inventor of the Year” by the New York State Legislature in 1988, and he was recognized as “United States Distinguished Inventor of the Year” by the U.S. IP Law Association and the Patent and Trademark office in 1999. He was also elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2002.

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