Intel: Moore's Law applies to the smart grid

Intel wants to bring its microprocessing muscle and Moore's Law to the smart grid, an executive at the Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

NEW YORK — Intel wants to bring its microprocessing muscle and Moore’s Law to the smart grid, an executive said yesterday.

Speaking yesterday at the 9th annual Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference in New York, the company’s general manager for eco-technology, Lorie Wigle, said the company best known for its computer chips is actually a top 5 player in the smart grid.

In a brief presentation, Wigle said smart grid progress required three things: flexible architecture, Internet Protocol standards and consumer empowerment through energy management.

Wigle highlighted the company’s Open Energy Initiative, which consists of four pillars: grid infrastructure, home energy management, smart (commercial) buildings and microgrids and communities.

Intel is internally aligning itself to achieve these goals, Wigle said, and is walking the talk by not only consuming green energy — Wigle said Intel is the No. 1 buyer of green energy, three years running — but by providing products for businesses and individuals.

That includes products such as wind turbines. Wigle said the average utility wind turbine contains up to 16 microprocessors, used for management and smart grid communication. There’s a growing opportunity for Intel in that space, she said.

Wigle also mentioned the 70 NIST standards, and stressed that Intel didn’t want to develop all-new processes if it wasn’t necessary.

“We do not want to reinvent things that are 90 percent there. We’d prefer to capitalize on prior investment,” she said, adding that Intel would like to use the IPv6 protocol “everywhere we can.”

Wigle also highlighted grid modeling and simulation, which Intel sees as a major opportunity for its computational power.

“Complete grid simulation is probably an access-scale computing problem,” she said, noting that such a computer requires more than 200 times the computing power as high-performance PCs on the market today.

For more of this story, read Intel: We want to bring Moore’s Law to the smart grid on Smart Planet.

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