When purchasing server processors directly from Intel, Google has insisted on a guarantee that the chips will operate at temperatures five degrees centigrade higher than their standard qualification, according to a former Google employee. This allowed the search giant to maintain higher temperatures within its data centers, the ex-employee says, and save millions of dollars each year in cooling costs.
If the chips failed prematurely at these higher temperatures, the former Googler says, Intel was obliged to replace them at no extra charge.
Intel denies this was ever the case. "This is NOT true," a company spokesman said in an email. Google declined to comment on its relationship with Intel. "Google invests heavily in technical facilities and has dozens of facilities around the world with many computers," reads a statement from the company. "However, we don't disclose details about our infrastructure or supplier relationships."