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The Quest for Server Power Efficiency

The Quest for Server Power Efficiency

Glamour items like energy harvesting and wireless power transfer are likely to make "guest appearances" at next week's APEC Conference. GaN transistor deployments will be carefully monitored. But on-going efforts to promote data-center energy transfer efficiency retain their "bread-and-butter" utility.

EE Times
By: Stephan Ohr, Consultant, Semiconductor Industry Analyst
March 16, 2016
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Rethinking Server Power Architecture in a Post-Silicon World

Rethinking Server Power Architecture in a Post-Silicon World

The demand for information in our society is growing at an unprecedented rate. With emerging technologies, such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things, this trend for more and faster access to information is showing no signs of slowing. What makes the transfer of information at high rates of speed possible are racks and racks of servers, mostly located in centralized data.

EEWeb
Alex Lidow, Ph.D., David Reusch, Ph.D., and John Glaser, Ph.D.
March, 2016
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'Tis the season to be wasteful

'Tis the season to be wasteful

In 2014, data centers in the United States consumed approximately 100 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. To add insult to injury, the power needed to support this rapidly growing demand comes from an electrical grid that is wildly inefficient and is based on infrastructure that was created, in large part, more than a century ago. Just how significant is this waste? It turns out that the power grid supplies 150W of power to meet the demands of a digital chip that may need only 100W. Moreover, the amount of wasted energy is even greater because every watt of power lost through power conversion is transferred into heat. And it is necessary to remove that heat from the server farm by expensive and energy-intensive air conditioning. It takes about 1W of air conditioning to remove 1W of power losses, effectively doubling the inefficiency of this power conversion process.

New materials have emerged that can convert electricity more efficiently and at a lower cost. By eliminating the inefficiencies in this final stage in the server farm power architecture we can realize a direct saving of 7 billion kWh per year. This is doubled when air conditioning energy costs are added, bringing the total to about 14 percent of the total energy consumed by servers in the US alone. The cost savings are also significant. At the average cost of $0.12 per kWh, that’s a savings of $1.7 billion annually, which does not include the additional savings in system cost resulting from fewer power converters and air conditioners.

Datacenter Dynamics
December 15, 2015
By: Alex Lidow
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Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

Power conversion involves creating tiny devices that convert electricity from one form to another, enabling all manner of electrical gadgets to function. Till now, silicon had been the preferred medium for power conversion processors, but as that element reaches the limits of its efficiency, attention has focused on new materials.

Los Angeles Business Journal
June 21, 2015
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