Larry Dignan referred yesterday in a post to the launch of Intel's latest low-power Xeon server processors, but there's one thing I wanted to follow up on with respect to that development. It's something I feel could be particularly interesting in light of the news reports over the past couple of days about Dell exploring a plan to sell off its manufacturing operations (a report that the company hasn't commented on up to this point).
Here's the thing: Intel says that the energy-efficiency advances it has been able to eke out of its new processors are related to its new 45 nanometer manufacturing capabilities and to its move to reinvent the transistors in order to wipe out any halogen in its supply chain. What's more, these new processors actually can be dropped into server platforms that have been out on the market since 2006. So, not only are the new processors more eco-friendly for new systems you buy, but you can actually upgrade pieces of your installed base to take advantage of this.
So, here's my question: If Dell, which has in my mind really helped drive eco-innovation among its desktop, notebook and server product lines, actually DOES sell its factories, can it continue to be as aggressive with feature advances in the green area?
Makes me wonder.
Could be a moot point, but given Intel's comments about manufacturing in its press release it begs the question. Here's the press release from Intel.
Control over the end-to-end build out could explain why smaller upstart systems companies like Verari, Rackable Systems or Blade Network Technologies that are essentially systems integrators gone big are gaining traction in the green data center. Or why companies like Ciara Technologies, Northern Micro, MDG, Northern Micro and Prosys-Tec are among the elite system builders to offer Platinum-rated desktops under the EPEAT program. By the way, does anyone else find it a strange coincidence that every single one of those companies is Canadian.
Scale certainly has been the advantage for the big branded systems guys up to this point. But now we have another metric to consider, eco-manufacturing capabilities.