Microsoft announced a new open source project for cloud hardware design Monday.
Dubbed "Project Olympus," Microsoft is developing the hardware in collaboration with the Open Compute Project.
The company is introducing designs that are only about half complete to encourage developers to contribute more meaningfully to the project. Prior Open Compute projects were shared when they were too far along in the production cycle to accommodate major changes.
The project is unique because it will introduce open-source hardware designs earlier in the design process than normal, according to Microsoft. The company said Project Olympus is its next generation hyperscale cloud hardware design and a new model for open source hardware development.
Kushagra Vaid, OCP incubation committee member and the general manager for Azure Cloud Hardware Infrastructure at Microsoft, said the change will allow for the quicker development of new hardware.
"We believe Project Olympus is the most modular and flexible cloud hardware design in the datacenter industry, and will become the foundation for a broad ecosystem of compliant hardware products developed by the OCP community," said Vaid.
An open source approach to data center technology has the potential to reduce pollution, improve computing power and reduce costs for potentially thousands of companies. Facebook recently said it’s already saved $2 billion since the project launched in 2011.
Other members of the Open Compute Project include Facebook, Google, IBM and Intel.