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Computing companies ally for low power

AMD, IBM, HP and Sun band together to try to encourage energy thriftiness among computing customers.

Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and IBM announced the Green Grid project Wednesday to help computing customers reduce energy consumption--and to gain a competitive advantage by letting customers know which companies can assist.

The and attendant heating problems. While computing companies are in part to blame through ever-hotter chips and servers, they're also trying to address the problem and to get an edge over competitors.

One major rivalry is between AMD and Intel. AMD's Opteron mainstream server processors consume 95 watts, compared to a range of . When it comes to servers, Sun Microsystems has built an ad campaign around the idea of using less energy.

The Green Grid effort is open to computing professionals, hardware and software companies, systems integrators and others, but Intel isn't involved.

"We were not asked to join," spokesman Scott McLaughlin said. "We've been involved in a lot of alliances and have a history of developing industry ecosystems. Regardless of who's organizing it, we're always ready to participate as long as it's focused on the customer not just issuing press releases."

Au contraire, countered AMD spokesman Phil Hughes. Although Intel didn't receive a written invitation, AMD representatives verbally invited Intel on March 27, he said.