AMD’s energy-slashing feat

July 17, 2020 by  
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AMD’s energy-slashing feat Heather Clancy Fri, 07/17/2020 – 01:00 It isn’t often I have the mindspace to proactively follow up on every commitment proclaimed by the companies I cover. But I recently paused to catch up about one that has particular relevance as more companies act to address their Scope 3 emissions reductions, those generated by supply chains and customers: AMD’s bold pledge back in 2014 to improve the energy efficiency of its mobile processors — the components used in notebook computers and specialized embedded systems, such as medical imaging equipment or industrial applications — by 25 times by 2020. Not-so-spoiler alert: The fact that I’m bringing it up should be a big hint that the company has delivered. In fact, AMD overachieved the goal, delivering a 31.7 times improvement with its new Ryzen 7 4800H processor. In layperson’s terms, that means that the chip consumes 84 percent energy, while taking 80 percent less compute time for certain tasks. For you and me, that means batteries last longer. For companies buying entire portfolios of devices based on these processors, they will see their electricity consumption reduced. (The specific reduction you’d see by upgrading 50,000 laptops would be 1.4 million kilowatt-hours.) Consider this perspective from tech research analyst Bob O’Donnell, president of TECHnalysis Research: “Lower energy consumption has never been more important for the planet, and the company’s ability to meet its target while also achieving strong processor performance is a great reflection of what a market-leading, engineering-focus company they’ve become.” Indeed, when I chatted with Susan Moore, AMD’s corporate vice president for corporate responsibility and government affairs, she told me it took “a full company focus and a lot of innovation” by the AMD engineering team to make the goal happen. Note to others attempting the same sort of thing. Although the company had pretty good visibility into what it would be able to pull off early on during the six-year period, there were plenty of questions marks, and it took unwavering support (and faith) from AMD CEO Lisa Su to keep true, Moore said.  Actually getting there took some very specific design changes, outlined in a blog by AMD Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster. Here are some of them: Investments in new semiconductor manufacturing processors (specifically 7 nanometer technology) Changes to the real-time power management algorithms The integration of the central processor and graphics architecture into a common “system on a chip” (among other architecture changes) Changes to the interconnections between the components (its proprietary approach for this is called the Infinity Fabric) Moore said close collaboration with customers (such as the original equipment manufacturers using AMD chips for their computers) was also critical. “A large part is the ability to sit down with likeminded organizations,” she noted.  Plus, disclosure. AMD decided to declare its progress year to year. (Here’s the report card from 2018, for an idea of how it shared the information.) “That was definitely a risk, but we thought it was very important that is was something that we talk about along the way, so we did measurements every year,” Moore said.  I wish every company were that transparent. Topics Information Technology Energy & Climate Energy Efficiency Featured Column Practical Magic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of AMD Close Authorship

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AMD’s energy-slashing feat

The future of the fashion industry requires innovative circular systems

July 17, 2020 by  
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The future of the fashion industry requires innovative circular systems Nicole Pamani Fri, 07/17/2020 – 00:15 Agricultural waste from food crops either is traditionally left to rot or is burned, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. About 270 million tons of banana waste are left to rot annually, and in India, 32 million acres of rice straw are burned. Circular Systems’ Agraloop , in contrast, sees food crop waste as a valuable resource, a feed stock for natural fiber products. Winner of the 2018 Global Change Award , the company aims to unlock value for the textile and fashion industry, for farmers and for the planet. Bard MBA alum Nicole Pamani recently spoke with Isaac Nichelson, CEO and co-founder at Circular Systems , about how the company’s circular production processes are helping to redefine the meaning of sustainable materials in the fashion industry. They discussed how Agraloop functions like a mechanical sheep, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is causing us to rethink the way we produce products.  Nicole Pamani: Tell us the Agraloop story. Isaac Nichelson: Agraloop is the world’s first regenerative industrial system for textile production. It originated from the mind of Yitzac Goldstein, whose natural systems thinking drives him at the core. It’s recently been described by our friend Nick Tipon from Fibershed , one of the world’s experts in regenerative farming practices and fiber systems, as essentially a giant mechanical sheep.   A sheep consumes a lot of biomass left over from food production, basically agricultural stubble. That biomass goes into its belly, where the sheep breaks it down and turns it into nutrition. Finally, the sheep fertilizes the field, trampling it in ever so perfectly, which improves the fertility cycle. This is exactly what Agraloop does at an industrial scale. It takes the leftover biomass from food crop production and upgrades that fiber, using some of the waste to create energy. When we’re done, what’s left over are only beneficial effluent and super high value products, rather than the caustic salts that come from traditional fiber processing or dye processing.  The effluent is actually perfect organic fertilizer, and we take it back to the farms to build soil fertility and further sequester carbon — just like the sheep does. We’re able to provide farmers with more income for waste that was actually climate liability because it’s usually burned.  This is more than just a better way to produce fiber from food crop waste. It’s literally showing the world that we can create industrial systems that are beneficial to humanity and to our habitat. Pamani: How do the textiles produced by Agraloop stack up against recycled fabrics? Nichelson: With this process, we’re changing people’s whole conception of what a recycled fabric is. Traditionally, recycled cotton textiles have been downplayed as inferior because in most cases they are. By tearing apart the fabric, mechanical recycling creates shorter staple fibers, and that creates a less strong yarn product. The lack of strength causes issues like pilling. Because it’s generally blended with recycled polyester, it also has problems of inconsistency. These issues have prevented the massive growth of traditional mechanically recycled textiles.  But that can all be fixed. Yitzac has innovated again around the creation of a yarn system that allows us to produce stronger-than-traditional virgin yarns that are also higher performing than traditional synthetics. Their moisture management will meet or exceed the performance of the Adidas Climate Cool or Nike Dri Fit with no chemical finishing and all recycled and organic inputs. The COVID-19 global pandemic is forcing us to rethink our patterns of consumption and the way we produce things. Pamani: What’s the next big sustainability challenge in the circular fashion industry? Nichelson: We’re having it delivered to us inadvertently right now with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Within this moment so much loss is happening, but it’s also forcing us to rethink our patterns of consumption and the way we produce things. It’s bringing home the idea of how fragile our habitat is and how sacred our health is.  As we sit in our houses, either laid off or working from home with a lot more time on our hands, we’re looking inward at this incredible crisis. The whole world — but especially the tech, style and fashion industry — is collapsing in on itself right now because it’s unbalanced and totally unprepared for what’s to come. What’s necessary is not a revolution, but a resolution to change that resolves to do things differently as a species, not just an industry.  Pamani: Do you see opportunities for collaboration across different levels of production?  Nichelson: We’ve been doing presentations at textile exchanges and with some of the biggest companies in our space about a new way of looking at sustainability and collaboration. We are raising the bar. What we need to be striving for is fixing things — that’s regeneration, that’s true circular. We’re in this incredible moment, this inflection point for humanity, and constructive interference is what’s going to save us. We need it right now on a global basis. Are we going to come out of this into the real hunger games, or are we going to come out of this into a world ready to transform and willing to collaborate? I can tell you that we at Circular Systems are working night and day to do our part to make that collaboration a reality, and we invite everybody else to join us.  The above Q&A is an edited excerpt from the Bard MBA’s June 5 The Impact Report podcast. The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Pull Quote The COVID-19 global pandemic is forcing us to rethink our patterns of consumption and the way we produce things. Contributors Katie Ellman Topics Circular Economy Food & Agriculture Fashion Food Waste Collective Insight The Sustainable MBA Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Credit:  Rawpixel.com

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The future of the fashion industry requires innovative circular systems

Recycled shipping container cafe utilizes passive cooling in India

February 24, 2020 by  
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Southeast of New Delhi, in Greater Noida City, Rahul Jain Design Lab (RJDL) has transformed recycled shipping containers into a dynamic new cafe and gathering space for ITS Dental College. Named Cafe Infinity after its infinity loop shape, the building was created as an example of architecture that can be both economical and eco-friendly. The architects’ focus on sustainability has also informed the shape and positioning of the cafe for natural cooling. Cafe Infinity serves as a recreational space for ITS Dental College students, faculty and patients. The team deliberately left the corrugated metal walls of the 40-foot-long recycled shipping containers in their raw and industrial state to highlight the building’s origins. The rigid walls of the containers also provide an interesting point of contrast to the organic landscape. Related: Shipping container retreat in Brazil is inspired by tiny homes “The idea of using infinity was conceived to emphasize on the infinite possibilities of using a shipping container as a structural unit, regardless of the building type and site,” the architects explained of the building’s infinity loop shape that wraps around two courtyards. “The flexibility, modularity and sustainability makes shipping containers a perfect alternate to the conventional building structures, to reduce the overall carbon footprint while also being an ecologically and economically viable solution.” In addition to two cafe outlets and courtyards, Cafe Infinity also includes viewing decks, bathrooms, seating areas for faculty and visitors and a student lounge. To promote natural cooling , the architects turned the shipping container doors into louvers and installed them on the south side of the building to minimize unwanted solar gain while providing privacy. The building was also equipped with 50-millimeter Rockwool insulation, a mechanical cooling system, strategically placed openings and tinted windows.  + RJDL Photography by Rahul Jain via RJDL

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Recycled shipping container cafe utilizes passive cooling in India

Entrepreneur sells mushroom suits that decompose your body after death

July 19, 2019 by  
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Sustainability might be the last thought on your mind when a loved one dies, but one entrepreneur believes that everyone can be eco-friendly in life and in death. A remarkable mushroom suit is available to be worn by the deceased during their burial, and it offers a way to limit the environmental impact of traditional funerals. The impact of conventional funeral practices is little known and rarely discussed. Coffins require the harvesting and chemical treatment of wood, including toxic varnishes. Dead bodies are almost always pumped full of formaldehyde, which is a highly poisonous embalming chemical that is released into the environment. Cremation is another option, but it is not without its own negative impact. The cremation process is highly energy-intensive and requires sustained temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Related: Washington State becomes first state to allow human composting The “Infinity Burial Suit” weaves mushroom spores into the suit’s threads so that mushrooms grow on the body and swiftly decompose it by feeding off the nutrients. Mushrooms are beneficial decomposers and help to neutralize soil by digesting and filtering contaminants such as pesticides or heavy metals. The suit has been for sale since 2016 on the company’s website . It costs $1,500 USD and is available in both black and natural colors and in three sizes. The team behind the suit also offers alternative burial options for pets. Other companies have attempted to address this environmental issue with the release of a burial pod that grows into a tree and the opening of funeral buildings for communal decomposition. Like the mushroom suit, these ideas have received a lot of controversy. According to Jae Rhim Lee, the owner of the mushroom suit company, society needs to shift how we think about death in general, and the mushroom suit is an important step. “For every person who uses the Infinity Burial Suit, there will be many more who witness the choice to return to the earth and to use one’s body in a beneficial way,” Lee said. “Cumulatively, this will help create a cultural shift toward a cultural acceptance of death and our personal responsibility for environmental sustainability.” + Coeio Via Science Alert and Truth Theory Images via Coeio

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Entrepreneur sells mushroom suits that decompose your body after death

Mushroom burial suit turns dead bodies into compost

August 14, 2016 by  
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Designer Jae Rhim Lee believes there’s a better way to be buried. Not in a coffin in your finest clothes, but rather with a mushroom burial suit that can turn your dead body into clean compost. Lee’s eco-friendly garment, called the Infinity Burial Suit , relies on two different kinds of mushrooms that break down the toxins in the body and helps speed up the natural decomposition process.

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Mushroom burial suit turns dead bodies into compost

The Undulating Infinity Centre Unifies a School Campus With a Central Library

October 23, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of The Undulating Infinity Centre Unifies a School Campus With a Central Library Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerodynamic library , eco design , green design , Infinity Centre , mcbride charles ryan , Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School , sustainable design

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Artists Rebuild the Berlin Wall for 25th Anniversary of Its Fall

October 23, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Artists Rebuild the Berlin Wall for 25th Anniversary of Its Fall Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 25th Anniversary Berlin Wall , berlin , Berlin art , berlin public art , berlin wall , biodegradable balloons , Christopher Bauder , Lichtgrenze , light art , light art installation , Marc Bauder , WHITEvoid

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Artists Rebuild the Berlin Wall for 25th Anniversary of Its Fall

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