"We're injecting atomic layers of air between the processors -- that will increase dissipation of heat by 40 percent," Lechner claims. This will be available on IBM's cell processors sometime in the next 12 to 24 months, and it eventually will be extended to the vendor's other chip technologies.
IBM is also enhancing its "variable fan" technology, which uses heat monitors to control the speed of the fans within its servers. "If you can get them to spin at a variable rate based on monitoring, you can cut energy [demands] by half," said Lechner. "That's in place on our System P servers right now. You will find that on our storage arrays next year."
Another vendor looking to control the speed of its hardware components is EMC, which recently announced plans to "spin down" the disks on its storage arrays in an attempt to harness energy costs.
"What EMC is looking at in terms of innovating at the disk level, we are as well," said Lechner, although he did not reveal any additional product details.