Photo: kid_entropy via Flickr
Data centres have a nasty reputation for pollution. Now Facebook has launched a contest to solve one of the computing world’s biggest ecological problems.It wants to make computers out of biodegradable, compostable materials like cardboard, reports Stacey Higginbotham on GigaOM.
The idea is part of Facebook’s Open Compute Project. That effort designs custom, eco-friendly servers for the social media giant, launching an entirely new segment of the hardware industry in the process.
Open Compute has teamed with Purdue University for this contest, where students will be asked to design a computer chassis that can be tossed into a compost bin when it fails, like banana peels or egg shells.
Here’s how the Open Compute folks explained it:
Servers are typically replaced about every four years. This is necessary to maintain fast, reliable equipment. Unfortunately, this results in a lot of waste. Open Compute wants to change this starting with the server chassis. These are typically made of steel, which is recyclable, but even recycling generates waste. What would happen if these chassis could be placed in compost instead?
The chassis is the part of the computer that holds the power supply and other components together. Facebook has some strict specifications for a dissolvable chassis design. But if designers can meet the challenge, it could be a very good for the planet.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.