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Intel set to join AMD-backed Green Grid

Once there's something to join

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Come early next year, Intel will end its holdout and join the Green Grid consortium backed by rival AMD.

As it stands, the Green Grid isn't a consortium, group or any type of proper entity. The member companies behind the project - including AMD, Sun Microsystems, HP, IBM and Rackable Systems - have been working to finalize contracts that would in fact establish the Green Grid group as a legal organization. With any luck, the contracts will be polished off over the next couple of months at which time Intel's membership in the group, which focuses on energy-friendly data centers, will also be announced.

How do we know this?

Well, we've interpreted the semantic and gesture dance of Intel and AMD representatives as best as possible.

When asked yesterday what was keeping Intel from joining the Green Grid project, Intel VP Will "Smooth As" Swope replied, "We are not part of the Green Grid."

Swope happened to be at AMD's Sunnyvale headquarters for part of a data center energy consortium being held in concert with the Department of Energy. And, after downing our question with that odd declaration, Swope gave a wink and a nod to AMD's marketing manager Larry Vertal.

In an interview, Vertal then declined to comment on whether or not Intel was joining the Green Grid - a sure sign that it is - and declined to comment on whether or not Intel would be one of the founding 11 board members of the group - a sure sign that it will be.

"There will be some public announcements in the next couple of months," he said.

The DOE officials seemed intrigued about the Green Grid project, which is a vendor-led consortium to improve the energy consumption traits of data centers. The vendors hope to turn the organization into more of a customer-led group once it gets going.

Over 100 companies covering all aspects of the data center have expressed interest in joining the Green Grid, Vertal said.

The group marks one of the few bodies that has all of the major server vendors and chip makers talking together. Whether or not anything comes of the goodwill remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the vendors will continue to try and make the most of energy cost concerns by insisting that they have the lowest power hardware. ®

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