Jun 25, 2020

WhatsApp say Brazil bank willing to restore payments service

Brazil
Data
James Hood
1 min
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, said "The central bank made clear that they support platforms like WhatsApp that are innovating in digital payments"
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, said "The central bank made clear that they support platforms like WhatsApp that are innovating in digital payments...

On Tuesday, Brazil's central bank and antitrust watchdog suspended WhatsApp's newly launched payments services, as they see potential damage in the areas of competition, efficiency and data privacy. Regulators blocked WhatsApp partnerships with Visa, Mastercard and Cielo SA.

As Cielo is the only card acquirer in a deal with WhatsApp, Brazil's antitrust watchdog Cade is investigating if the terms of the partnership could favor it in terms of exclusivity. Cade estimates WhatsApp could increase Cielo's card transactions by 10% in a conservative scenario. Cielo is already the country's biggest acquirer with a 41% market share

Still, Whatsapp reinforced in the statement its plans to open the service to more players in the future and to provide payments via central bank payments platform PIX.

Brazil is the first country where WhatsApp has announced a nationwide payments service. It has over 120 million users, it's second largest market behind India. 

The central bank did not immediately comment on the matter.

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Jun 21, 2021

NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres

NTU
NUS
datacentres
Sustainability
3 min
A project by The Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore aims to find cooling solutions for tropical data centres

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have announced a project in an attempt to source and develop new cooling solutions for data centres located in tropical areas. According to the companies, the programme costs S$23mn (US$17.1mn) and plans to research, build and test innovative and sustainable cooling solutions. 

The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT)

The NUS and NTU say that the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will act as a research point and innovation hub for the project. Facebook, along with the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), is also involved, providing funding for the programme. Further support from other partners includes the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ascenix, CoolestDC Keppel Data Centres, Red Dot Analytics, and New Media Express. 

Commenting on working with the companies, Facebook Vice President of Infrastructure, Alex Johnson, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data centre, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore”. 

The NTU and NUS highlight that Singapore houses 60% of Southeast Asia’s total data centre market, and aims to supply 12% of the country’s total energy needs by 2030. This results in the need to reduce the carbon footprints and power consumption of data centres, meaning more innovative cooling solutions are required, the NTU and NUS said. 

Professor Chen Thuan, Deputy President of Research & Technology at the NUS, said: “Data centres are a critical enabler of the digital economy, but the average data centre can exert a significant environmental burden. Aligned with RIE 2025, sustainability is a key research focus of NUS, and our researchers have deep expertise in developing integrated solutions for tropical, urban and Asian settings”.

How will the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) help to provide cooling solutions?

According to the NUS and NTU, the STDCT will be built using equipment such as a novel desiccant-coated heat exchanger and a StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC) designed by both Nortek Air Solutions and Facebook. The institutions also say they will adopt chip-level hybrid cooling to ensure servers remain cool. 

Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will aim to manage the “smart operations” of the technologies so that the data centres are water and power efficient, as well as able to preserve equipment and servers. 

The NTU and NSU said in a joint statement the combination of the cooling technologies could reduce energy consumption “significantly” and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared to traditional air-cooled data centres. If adopted industry-wide across the entire tropical region, the energy usage of the data centre industry could potentially be lowered by at least 40%”, the companies said. 

The STDCT is expected to be operational by 1 October 2021.

 

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