Titbit: Running the Internet Uses 2 percent of World’s Power

Just thought I would share this little titbit.

According to a one year research paper by Justin Ma and Barath Raghavan at the University of California (in Berkley in the USA) all the switching equipment, networking, controlling computers, name servers, DHCP servers, routers, modems, Web servers, etc., running the Internet consumes about two percent of the world’s electricity production.

Following are a few other marginally interesting numbers from their research:

  • There are 750 million laptop computers currently in use across the globe.
  • There are 1 billion smartphones in active use.
  • There are 100 million datacentre servers running.

Obviously all these numbers can only be educated estimates but if they have put a year into it then they have probably done all the checks they can to make sure they are very good estimates.

In the article in the NewScientist (here) they gave the number of laptop computers currently in use but not the number of desktop computers. Pity. It would have been mildly interesting to know the total number of computers “in use”.

Also they worked out the number of smartphones in use but it would have been kind of fun to know the number of smartphone not in use—all the ones discarded left lying unused in drawers. I know we have about three in our house, plus another six or so feature-phones (the ones that came before touch-screen smartphones).