Intel says the infrastructure the metaverse requires isn’t available to support it
The metaverse is going to need a serious heat sink.
We’re already facing a global issue with the energy consumption needed to mine Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has a limited supply, heralding a future end of that energy use, the technology exists, and there will surely remain a reason to maintain massive GPU mining farms.
This is only a base observation, not considering the environmental concerns of mining, minting, and performing other adjunct crypto-related activities.
So the Earth is in for a real treat with the energy that will be required to truly power the metaverse. By treat, we mean heat. Lots and lots of computational heat.
According to Intel, who makes many of the computer chips that power these internet-accessing devices we take for granted on a daily basis, the metaverse is going to require a shit-ton of computational power — at least 1,000 times what we’re capable of today as it pertains to efficiency.
Senior vice president and head of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group Raja Koduri notes in a blog post:
“We need several orders of magnitude more powerful computing capability, accessible at much lower latencies across a multitude of device form factors. To enable these capabilities at scale, the entire plumbing of the internet will need major upgrades. Intel’s building blocks for metaverses can be summarized into three layers and we have been hard at work in several critical areas.
Within the meta intelligence layer, our work focuses on a unified programming model and software development tools and libraries that are open in order to enable developers to deploy complex applications more easily. The meta ops layer describes the infrastructure layer that delivers compute to users beyond what is available to them locally. And finally, the meta compute layer is the raw horsepower necessary to power these metaverse experiences.”
So Intel is working on it. Great. Meta wants to spend billions building out the metaverse, so it’s going to need a place to live. But at what cost to the planet? Does anyone give a heated crap?
We’ve made it this far without really caring about climate change and there is money to be made. Politicians and rich tech bois have made it quite clear that the driving factor in ignoring climate change is current profit, not future profit.
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This isn’t to say that it will require more energy to run the metaverse as the computing power to do so becomes more efficient. However, perhaps that efficiency will take into account the effect on the planet.
It’s reasonable to assume that Intel will look to not only beef up the computing power of the internet at large, but also lessen the impact on the Earth with all this extra efficiency.
After working in tech for so long, one can easily see how the word “efficiency” could be a marketing term as much as a functional one, so skepticism is justified.
There’s no doubt that the metaverse is going to become the next something as it pertains to the internet, but how we get there seems to be something that is being worked out as we go along. Per usual, some tech bro has come up with an idea and is running demos, but really hasn’t mapped out all the required hardware requirements.
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But none of that matters. So what, we’ll need some more chips and cooling infrastructure. At least we can have virtual chats with feature-less avatars instead of just picking up the damn phone.
When they start minting NFTs within the metaverse, then we’ll probably need to pretend to be concerned.
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