Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed a dramatic rise in computing across data centers, mobile, and communication technologies. As of 2015 information computing technology (ICT) accounts for up to 5% of the global energy demand. Unfortunately, as the demand for computing grows with new applications and platforms so will its energy demand. Many technology companies, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, have pledged to reduce their carbon footprints over the next decade. Meeting these pledges and enabling sustainable computing requires immediate action from the systems and architecture community.

Tentative Program

The inaugural CLEAR workshop will be held in conjunction with ISCA 2021.

Introduction to CLEARTBA
Environmental sustainability from the systems perspectiveTBA
Challenges and opportunities in sustainable data centersTBA
Enabling Green AITBA
Coffee Break
Impact of renewable energy sources on system design and executionTBA
Environmental footprint of fabrication and manufacturing hardwareTBA
Applying systems research to sustainable operationsTBA
Contributed talks/posters
Coffee break
Industry and academic panel on future of sustainable computingTBA
Discussion and closing sessionTBA

Call for Contributions

In addition to invited talks, CLEAR will solicit contributed posters.

With emerging applications (e.g., AI, AR/VR, personalized health, robotics) and new hardware platforms (e.g. cloud services, embedded and mobile systems, wearable devices, personal assistants), demand for computing will continue to grow. Given the increasing demand for computing, its environmental footprint will continue to grow as well. Enabling sustainable computing requires collectively optimizing the footprint across the entire computing stack as well as across research and industry. 

CLEAR invites submissions across all sub-areas across the computing stack towards environmental sustainability. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Retrospective analysis on the environmental footprint of computing
  • Metrics and benchmarks for environmental footprint
  • Impact and unique opportunities from powering systems with renewable energy sources
  • Novel systems and hardware designs for sustainable computing
  • Emerging devices for sustainable computing 
  • Sustainable data center scale challenges and solutions
  • Sustainable mobile systems
  • Application level characterization of environmental footprint

Submissions should be a maximum of 2 pages. Please send submissions to Udit Gupta (ugupta@g.harvard.edu) and Carole-Jean Wu (carolejeanwu@fb.com) by Friday April 2, 2021 at 5pm ET.


Udit Gupta is a 5th year PhD student in CS at Harvard University and received his B.S. in ECE from Cornell University in 2016. His research interests focus on improving the performance and energy efficiency of emerging applications in computer systems and architecture by co-designing solutions across the computing stack. His recent work explores the characterization and optimization of at-scale deployment of deep learning based personalized recommendation systems.
Carole-Jean Wu is a Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research. Her research focus lies in the domain of computer system architecture with particular emphasis on energy- and memory-efficient systems. Her research has pivoted into designing systems for machine learning execution at-scale. In general, she is interested in tackling system challenges to enable efficient, responsible AI execution. Carole-Jean chairs the MLPerf Recommendation Benchmark Advisory Board, co-chaired MLPerf Inference, and serves on the MLCommons Board as a director. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton and B.Sc. from Cornell.
David Brooks received his B.S. from University of Southern California in EE in 1997 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in EE from Princeton in 2001. He spent a year at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in 2001 before joining Harvard in 2002. His research focuses on the interaction between the architecture and software of computer systems and underlying hardware implementation challenges, including power, reliability, and variability issues across embedded and high-performance computing systems. 
Gu-Yeon Wei received his B.S.E.E., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1994, 1997, and 2001, respectively. In 2000, he joined Accelerant Networks (now a part of Synopsys) in Beaverton, Oregon as a Senior Design Engineer. In 2002, he joined Harvard University. His research interests span a variety of topics such as integrated voltage regulators, flexible voltage stacking, power electronics, low-power computing architectures and circuits, auto-parallelizing compilers, and more.
Hsien-Hsin Sean Lee leads the SysML Boston Research group at Facebook AI Research. Previously, he directed the EDA solutions and PDK development at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech (ECE), an Architecture Manager at Agere Systems, and a senior CPU architect at Intel. Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in CSE from the University of Michigan. He received the NSF CAREER Award, the DoE Early CAREER Award, four Best Paper Awards, and the 10-year most influential paper award from ITC-2017. He holds 31 US patents and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Diversity Statement

Enabling sustainable computing requires a myriad of solutions across the computing stack. As such, an important mission for this workshop is to foster a diverse, collaborative, and innovative environment. 

The list of speakers and organizers of this workshop represent diversity in multiple dimensions as follows:

  • Technical expertise and experience, ranging from application developers to data center and mobile system designers, and from research to product development. 
  • Organizations from universities and industries in Asia, Europe, and America.
  • Professional experience in academia from current graduate students, PhD graduates, tenure track faculty, to tenured faculty, and in industry from research scientists to engineering directors. 
  • Ethnic backgrounds and genders of the organization committee and the speakers. 

Access: We plan to make all workshop materials including presentation slides available online. We will also publish a summary of the workshop’s findings and discussions to foster collaboration.