By Frank Frankovsky

The Open Compute Project was founded just over 18 months ago, and today nearly 2,000 people converge on Santa Clara to kick off the fourth annual OCP summit. The project has grown dramatically: OCP now comprises more than 50 official members and dozens of contributions from a wide variety of technology suppliers and customers, with strong momentum in terms of member growth and technology contributions, as well as product delivery and adoption of open source hardware.

Several members of the Open Compute Project have come together today to take steps toward solving a big challenge within the technology industry: the tendency of the hardware we build and consume to be highly monolithic. Processors are inextricably linked to our motherboards, which are in turn linked to specific networking technology, and so on. This leads to poorly configured systems that can’t keep up with rapidly evolving software and waste lots of energy and material.

The new contributions announced today are the first steps toward breaking up some of these monolithic designs, which should enable real gains in data center utilization and unlock even more efficiencies in data center construction and operations. There’s a lot of work left to be done here, but we have one big advantage as we face these challenges: We are doing this work together, in the open, and everyone has a chance to contribute — to help ensure that all the technologies we develop and consume are as scalable as possible, as efficient as possible, and as innovative as possible.

For full details, read the announcement on the Open Compute Project site.