Do you know that when you are watching YouTube, Netflix or Hulu videos you are making a massive contribution to global warming? The servers hosting these video streaming services are power guzzlers. For example, just the U.S. data centers of video streaming services Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Spotify and Vimeo consume as much power as the entire State of New York, according to this Huffington Post link. And the alarming aspect is that their power consumption is expected to increase 10% every year. Netflix is estimated to have consumed 37% of the total Internet bandwidth in the U.S. during peak hours!
According to the figures presented in this the Atlantic report, Google uses as much power as the entire country of Turkey, although these figures might be a bit exaggerated.
It’s not just power these data centers use. With so much extensive processing going on all the time, they also need to be kept cool, and this is where millions of gallons of water is required. According to this Wall Street Journal report, just the 800 data centres in the State of California consume so much water in a year that 1,58,000 Olympic size swimming pools can be filled with it.
The video streaming companies contributing so much to global warming and pollution also means that new technologies are constantly being developed in order to reduce so much strain on the environment. The world needs processors that can run on lesser power and don’t need much water for cooling.
The researchers from the University of California-Berkeley, MIT and the University of Colorado have developed a computer chip that uses light instead of electricity in order to run. These are called “electronic-photonic chips”. These tips might be 50 times faster than today’s commercially available chips, according to the claims made by the researchers. You can read more about the wonders this chip can work in the above Huffington Post link.