On April 17, the “Supercomputing · Fusion, 2021 Global Blockchain Computing Power Conference” officially opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. This conference is co-sponsored by Babbitt, ChainNode, and Poolin. WuSaidBlockchain is co-organized and 360Power is the general title sponsor.
In 2021, “carbon neutrality” will become a national plan, and China is facing the urgent need to transform from traditional energy to clean energy. On the other hand, enterprises and countries are carrying out digital transformation, and the demand for computing power in modern society is increasing. Increasing computing power means consuming more energy. Under such a background, how can computing power be “cleaned and energized”? Can clean computing power and energy-efficient computing power be obtained at the same time?
In the afternoon, Arthur Lee, the founder of SAI, was invited to give a speech at the conference, “A Century of “Carbon Neutral” Plan, How Can Sustainable Clean Energy be Applied in the Mining Field?” I believe it can bring some enlightenment.
The following is the full text of the speech compiled by Babbitt:
Hello everyone, I’m Arthur Lee, the founder of SAI. First of all, thank the organizer for the invitation and let me have this opportunity to share my views on the impact of carbon neutrality on the field of computing power that the public has been paying more attention to recently.
First of all, I would like to introduce SAI to you. We were established in 2019 and have been committed to solving the problem of energy costs of computing since our establishment. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our next development plan, and to discuss with all of you about energy cost, efficiency and sustainability issues in the current carbon-neutral environment and the future development of the computing industry
How to become the Coinbase of the computing power industry?
A few days ago, when Coinbase went public, it caused a lot of waves. As a compliant exchange, Coinbase’s IPO means that traditional capital recognizes emerging industries. The entire blockchain industry can be divided into two main tracks, one is trading and the other is computing power. The main concern on the trading track is the exchange, and the key word is compliance. Therefore, the successful IPO of Coinbase as a compliant exchange is of extraordinary significance to our industry. We think about how to become the Coinbase of the computing power industry?
The most important and arguably the biggest cost in the computing industry is energy. I believe that many miners and people in the mining industry face the problem of energy costs. Our company has been dedicated to solving the energy cost problem of computing with technology since the beginning of our company. After continuous exploration, we have accumulated more experience. In terms of the company, we have received investment from Bitmain and some domestic headquarter institutions. Our customers are mainly domestic and overseas large funds, and our business is mainly to help B-side customers to carry out computing power asset allocation and computing power hosting services.
How can clean energy be applied in the field of mining under the current carbon-neutral market demand?
Let’s start with the positioning of our company. I’m a great admirer of Elon Musk, who is a great entrepreneur. When he defined Tesla, he used a very simple structure, which is clean energy + cars. He has always insisted on this concept. He believes that Tesla is the world’s first company to vertically integrate renewable energy, from electricity production to storage to consumption. Tesla is currently ranked in the top 10 in terms of market capitalization and is the only company in the top 10 market capitalization list that has clean energy as its core concept. I believe it will have the same significance as the Coinbase’s IPO a few days ago, bringing us into a new era.
We learned from Tesla’s philosophy and combined our knowledge of the industry to establish SAI’s positioning. Our core structure is clean energy + chips, dedicated to solving the problem of computational energy costs. SAI is positioned to become the world’s first horizontally integrated clean energy technology company, serving customers around the world from computing power to electricity to heat.
Why did we choose to enter the energy track of the computing industry? Looking back at the development history of several industrial revolutions, we will find a rule. From the first industrial revolution, heat was first used on a large scale instead of manual work, to the discovery and application of electricity in the second industrial revolution, which could drive industrial production more efficiently, and then in the third scientific and technological revolution, the computing industry has greatly shortened the time and space barriers of the physical world through computing power. The whole society is getting higher and higher from the perspective of energy efficiency. In other words, the value created by each kilowatt-hour of electricity is getting higher and higher. In this process, we discovered that the energy efficiency improvement process in the carbon-based world (that is, the physical world of human real life) can be understood as the improvement of atomic energy efficiency. For example, sending our paper letters from one city to another requires energy to move atoms, and the cost may be very high. But in the silicon-based world, it is possible to complete the fast and efficient way of transmitting information by sending WeChat through the movement of electrons. Similarly, the transfer of value in the silicon-based world can also become more efficient through the global network of digital finance and crypto assets. In the silicon-based world, the efficiency of value and information transmission is mainly improved by continuously improving electronic energy efficiency. With the development of human society and the advancement of science and technology, this trend will further accelerate. From the evolution of the carbon-based world to the silicon-based world, and the evolution from atomic energy efficiency to electronic energy efficiency, it can be said that the essence of human social progress is the continuous evolution of energy efficiency.
We believe that all developments in the silicon-based world must be based on computing. So what is the core cost of computing? Miners are very familiar with these, one part is the chip cost, the other part is the energy cost. If you stretch the timeline, you will find that energy costs will account for a greater proportion.
In essence, computing can be understood as an activity of entropy reduction from a physical point of view, that is, to turn disordered data into order, and there must be an input of energy. In other words, as many computing requirements as there are, as many chips are needed and how much energy is consumed. So we will see that whether it is traditional computing, such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon or Bitcoin mining, all computing is based on energy and requires a lot of energy. Thus, solving energy costs becomes more and more important to the computing industry. Here we also have a deep understanding of the characteristics of each computing industry, and combined our accumulation in the energy industry and our knowledge of this market, we have summarized our own development strategy.
SAI Development Strategy
The first overview of the current state of the market is divided into two dimensions: the value chain and the industry chain.
In terms of value chain, we divide computing into two categories: traditional computing and advanced computing. According to publicly available data, the market size of traditional computing is larger. Last year, the market size was about 3 trillion, and it is expected to grow to almost 10 trillion by 2025. Advanced computing includes high-performance computing such as artificial intelligence, crypto supercomputing, and edge computing. In 2020, its scale was about two trillion. However, data predicts that the advanced computing market may grow to 20 trillion or even 30 trillion by 2025.
According to incomplete statistics, the scale of IDC (Internet Data Center) in traditional computing, China’s stock load was 23 million kilowatts in 2019. The current load of the mining industry is about 10 million kilowatts. In terms of electricity bill contribution, IDC contributes about 70 billion electricity bills every year. Bitcoin mining and crypto supercomputing contribute nearly 40 billion in electricity bills every year. From the data point of view, Bitcoin and crypto supercomputing took a short period of about ten years, reaching one-half of the scale of traditional computing, and the growth rate may accelerate further. Therefore, from the perspective of the value chain, we believe that advanced computing has a faster development speed and more space for development.
From the perspective of the industrial chain, the industrial chain is divided into many links. The first link is the energy link, which is also the focus of our speech today.
The focus on energy of computing had been relatively low before, or the society had not widely recognized its importance. According to incomplete global statistics in 2020, about 5% of the total global power generation was used for computing. However, according to official forecasts, 15% to 25% of global power generation will be used for computing by 2030 . In other words, among all the global power generation, the computing industrial power consumption will rank in the top two in the proportion of the entire power industry.
Because of the common mission of carbon neutrality, traditional industries are now paying attention to the replacement of fossil energy and the promotion and use of clean energy. In the computing industry, more and more people will also focus on whether the computing power uses clean energy, and whether the process of generating computing power meets the requirements of environmental friendliness and sustainability. Therefore, we will see that in the energy link of the computing industry chain, on the production side, wind power, hydropower, and photovoltaics power will gradually replace thermal power. On the consumer side, liquid cooling, energy storage, power consumption and power adjustment are getting more and more attention.
The second link in the industry chain is infrastructure, that is, data centers. According to incomplete statistics, the traditional domestic computing is about 23 million kilowatts. According to the backward projection of crypto power, the advanced computing load is about 10 million kilowatts. The demographic dividend of traditional computing has gradually disappeared, and advanced computing is constantly increasing, which shows an exponential growth trend.
In the chip sector, the ASIC field has a significant lead. The mining machines of companies such as Bitmain use the most advanced chip manufacturing process. For CPU and GPU, due to the influence of factors such as the international situation and production capacity, development will have some limitations. In the algorithm link, advanced computing still has the leading advantage of continuous iteration based on the scale of data. In addition, in the user link, advanced computing still has a large space for growth at the user level, after all, there is a huge demographic dividend. In general, traditional computing and advanced computing have great opportunities from a strategic point of view. Among them, traditional computing mainly focuses on domestic large cycles, and advanced computing requires domestic and international double cycles.
In from the perspective of clean energy business, SAI has four main business segments: SAIHEAT(chip waste heat utilization), SAIWATT(clean power consumption), SAIBYTE (computing cloud network system), and SAICHIP (new computing chip). SAIHEAT, by providing the server with liquid cooling + waste heat utilization, collects the waste heat generated by computing and reuses it, which can greatly reduce the electricity cost, and replace the traditional heat source to provide clean heat services at the same time. SAIWATT(clean power consumption) is to use idle energy such as hydropower, wind power, and waste gas power to do consumption and peaking through the electricity consumed by computing, so as to reduce costs and increase efficiency for energy owners and reduce the cost of computing power for us. In addition, computing power cloud services and new chip materials are our main directions to jointly reduce the cost of the computing industry.
Speaking of specific business, we currently mainly provide customers with clean energy-based computing power custody services. Also, at an appropriate time in the future, self-built clean and sustainable computing power will also be launched.
Through our clean energy-based SAI computing and energy center, combined with waste heat utilization technology and power consumption technology, we can reduce the computing power cost of customers by about 30%, while reducing the cost of heating power, and saving power supporting investment. This enables SAI to greatly increase our profit margin while reducing the cost of our three-party partners in computing power, electricity, and heat. In the future, we will establish SAI computing and energy centers around the world to provide services to more customers.
Finally, I would like to introduce the original intention of SAI.
The prosperity and development of every industry must break through many difficulties. In such a fast-developing industry, we believe that even if everyone and every company buys BTC, ETH, Filecoin, etc., it will not necessarily make the world a better place. However, we hope that through our own efforts, we can use technology to reduce the core costs of computing power, electricity and heat, which are the core costs of the silicon-based world, and provide sustainable computing, electricity, and heat services based on clean energy, so as to form a green circular economy, which can realize the vision of Mᴱake World ₿etter.
Thank you for your attention. If you have the right opportunity or have any business needs, you can also actively contact us.
Alex Williams is an American journalist. He graduated from Occidental College with a BA. He later received an honorary Ph.D from Occidental College. Alex is known for his ten years as anchor and editor. Recently he is working on Bulletin Track.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Bulletin Track journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.