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Microsoft diverts research funds to data centre efficiency studies

Bit barn burn rates are on Redmond's mind

Merlin Data Center Power Room

Microsoft has handed out four grants of $US40,000 apiece to university researchers looking into various ways to make data centres more energy-efficient.

Redmond, like many large vendors, regularly funds academic research. This year, Microsoft has expanded the efforts it usually conducts through the Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) to include research on what it's calling “datacenter innovation and energy efficiency”.

Recipients of the grants to study that topic include Reinaldo Tonkoski and Wei Sun of South Dakota State University, who plan to work on “Resilient Microgrids for Datacenters”. Onur Mutlu of Carnegie Mellon University will look into “Improving Datacenter Efficiency and Total Cost of Ownership with Differentiated Software Reliability Analysis and Techniques”.

Microsoft's senior research program manager Sean James says he hopes “we see the results of this research benefiting not only Microsoft, but the industry as a whole.”

Redmond's still handing out grants through the SEIF, with projects selected for funding including one named “Teaching Software Engineering To the Masses with TouchDevelop” and another promising “ A Microsoft Kinect-based training program to improve balance, mobility, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease.” All of the grant recipients are detailed here. ®

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