The European Commission has some odd ideas. Take its Eurocloud project, to design a chip capable of making datacentres cheap and more eco-friendly. According to EC officials, Eurochip could cement Europe's position in a cloud dominated industry.
Neelie Kroes, the EC vice president, has been doing her best to talk up the project.
"Today's power-hungry cloud data centres are not sustainable in the long run. The Eurocloud chip addresses the core of this energy consumption problem," she recently proclaimed.
Datacentre energy use is a growing concern, and Kroes is right to note that the success of Facebook, Gmail, Spotify and the like do suggest consumer demand for cloud-based services is going to rise.
It should also be recognised that as well targeting a hot-button issue, the Eurocloud chip has some illustrious backers, including ARM and Nokia.
At the heart of the project is the coupling of ARM Cortex processors with 3D memory technology, attempting to build a platform that can support hundreds of cores in a single server. According to the EC, the Eurochip will cost 10 times to buy and consume 10 times less energy than state-of-the-art servers today.
So while this is obviously a laudable effort, there have to be major question marks over its chances of success. Total funding for the project, which is due to finish in 2013, has been €5.4m, of which the EC contributed €3.3m.
These are not inconsiderable sums, but they pall when compared to the R&D budget of a chip maker such as Intel.
And there are questions over whether EC-sponsored research can ever keep pace with the rapid cycle of change in the IT industry.
The Eurochip website still proudly boasts that its technology will provide the bedrock for partner firm Nokia's Ovi mobile cloud services. Yes, that would be Ovi, the brand Nokia ditched nearly 18 months ago.
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