New Crystallization Technique To Slash Cloud Computing Costs
Researchers specialized in material science and organic chemistry have unveiled an inexpensive process to obtain elongated crystalline elements possessing enviable characteristics. This was accomplished by the use of two tiny organic molecules exhibiting strong mutual affinity which leads them to assemble autonomously into a structured lattice, the condition for a material to be rendered ferroelectric.
The process makes use of readily available and inexpensive raw materials, making it suitable for next-generation, high-end technological applications. The end product, the crystals, is produced quickly and is definitely resourceful. This crystal seeding process is in contrast with the conventional industrial procedures used to obtain ferroelectric substances that are mainly surgical modifications of polymers and ceramics – extremely difficult to handle and inherently expensive to produce.
Ferroelectric materials are known for their ability to demonstrate impulsive electric polarization, a phenomenon that results in charge to be accumulated on one end of the material, making it electrically positive (and the other end, intuitively, electrically negative). The beauty is that the polarization can be reversed through the application of an external electric field. This makes the material valuable to computer memory researchers – the paired transitional polarity states could very well correspond to digital data bits being in a high or low state.
The core utility of the newly-discovered crystals is predicted to be in the sphere of computer server back-end memory. The technology can also enhance the operational performance of sensor devices, alternative energy systems focusing on solar radiation, and nanoelectronics in general.
In addition, these new materials could help reduce the expensive operation of cloud computing services. At the backbone of every cloud-based service are volatile memory banks for storing data for real-time or offline processing. Volatile memory is completely reliant upon a continuous supply of power for maintaining the integrity and entirety of the stored data. This translates into an essential requirement of an always-on power supply.
The recently discovered and easy to make material can be morphed into non-volatile memory. This type of memory resource has the ability to retain information even under a power-off scenario. The researchers are convinced that a transition to a cloud infrastructure only partially power-reliant, driven by non-volatile memory, could lead to savings in electricity costs as gigantic as $6 billion per year in the U.S. alone, not to speak of the resulting worldwide savings should the rest of the world follow a similar idea.
The amazing discovery by the Northwestern University Non-equilibrium Energy Research Group, funded generously by the U.S. Department of Energy, is all set to bring in significant cloud cost reduction (if adapted) for end-users and ventures alike. After all, the savings will most likely generate a trickle-down effect in the realm of cloud computing for sure.
By Humayun Shahid
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