Vicor's power trends for 2021

January 05, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Vicor's power trends for 2021
Executives from Vicor have given their view of the drivers or power in 2021, from data centres and drones to automotive

The pandemic has accelerated data centre demand in 2021 beyond previous forecasts and will continue as a permanent increase even after the coronavirus has abated, says Lev Slutskiy, Vicor’s Regional Manager.

“In 2021, the quest for more power efficiency in the datacentre will step up a gear where we believe not only will the datacentre industry purchase more renewable energy than in previous years, but we anticipate more datacentres moving away from AC power in favour of DC infrastructure solutions to better cope with the massive increases in power demands of high-performance computing,” he said.

Data centre operators will need to pack more capacity into the existing rack space and this has significant implications for power delivery. AI, cloud and big data are driving demand for much higher processing power resulting in far higher energy consumption and higher currents, which in turn lead to increased losses of electricity due to power conversion and transformation processes. A third area for significant change in power innovation within the datacentre will be in terms of power delivery and power efficiency at the cabinet and rack level to deal with the increased computing power (multiple exa-FLOPS) needed to enable the cloud, AI and big data applications.

A more efficient way to manage power is to increase the voltage within these systems and to use direct current either after alternate current rectification or directly from a source of renewable energy. The task of conversion of the high voltage (usually 260 – 410 V DC) to the values used at the input of modern computing units (12V or better 48V) could be performed by bus converters.

“We believe that system designers will use more of these innovative architectural solutions, such as Factorized Power Architectures (FPAs),  and efficient converter modules to shorten the distances between the high current supplier module to the point of load (PoL), to lower PDN

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