The green potential of data centers

Many imagine data centers as the backbone or even the “brains” of the internet. Behind all the information services we use every day – such as video streaming, gaming and AI – data centers and super computers process, store and network incredible amounts of data. Worldwide data volumes will reach approximately 175 zettabytes in 2025. 

The constantly growing demand for data-based services also means a strong increase in data center energy consumption. In 2021 data centers consumed around 2% of the world’s total electricity (= 460 TWh or the energy demand of around 153 million households). This consumption is largely driven by servers and cooling systems. The world’s largest data center, Switch Tahoe Reno, will have a capacity of 850 MW power when completed. 

Technological solutions are strongly needed in order to limit energy consumption. Semiconductors in particular have a huge impact on energy efficiency – in the power supply unit (PSU) as well as on the server motherboard. They provide higher power density and reduce waste heat. Semiconductors can reduce power loss in the power supply by as much as even 50%.

Strong partnersSupermicro collaborates with Infineon on green computing

High-performance power semiconductors: The heart of modern data centers

For reliable and green data centers power usage efficiency (PUE) and infrastructure efficiency (DCIE) are key. Learn more on the requirements of today’s data centers and the important role of DC-DC power converter solutions that support quick design-in options and provide power density and robustness.

Improved system architecture is essential

Data centers are made of several key building blocks: Servers provide computations and logic for information requests. Storage drives keep the data needed to meet those requests, and network devices connect the data center to the internet, enabling incoming and outgoing data flows.

Infineon solutions address all of these key data center building blocks and tasks. They improve system architecture, make the power supply more efficient and lower cooling requirements. This directly leads to annual energy savings of up to 10.5 percent and realizes an annual savings potential for a mid-sized data center (250 MW) of as much as 115 GWh while cutting around 4,700 tons of CO2 emissions per year. On a worldwide level, different types of semiconductors could enable gigantic energy savings of around 48 TWh, corresponding to over 22 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Application page: Data processing

Make IoT work - reliable data centers and 5G: The heart and backbone of the IoT

Cool down and save energy with modern semiconductors

The key question is: Where is energy needed, for what and how can demand be reduced? Did you know that data centers use up to 50% of energy for cooling and backup power alone? There is great potential for alternative energy solutions and savings. Here established semiconductors as well as new wide-bandgap technologies like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) play a crucial role. They allow for greater power efficiency, smaller size, lighter weight and lower cost.

Whitepaper: Gallium nitride technology in server and telecom applications

Video: CoolSiC™ MOSFET – Delivering reliable and cost-effective top performance

Video: Complete 3kW power supply for server applications

Video: XDP™ digital power control solution

Spotlight on major solutions optimizing energy efficiency

Power supply unit (PSU): Energy efficiency levels of up to 97.5%

The circuit board of the power supply contains a number of key electronic components, such as power semiconductors, drivers and controllers. These various semiconductor types have a significant impact on energy efficiency and the reduction of power loss. The combination of various Infineon technologies (Si, SiC, GaN) help to optimize power density and energy efficiency, which rises from 94% to 97.5%. This means power loss can be reduced by more than 50%.

Server motherboard: Efficient power delivery and improved processor performance

 Efficient power delivery within the motherboard strongly depends on microelectronics. A reliable and high-efficiency voltage regulator is a key factor in delivering power to the processor. Voltage regulator solutions ensure that power on the motherboard is converted with the highest efficiency and density while minimizing power loss to improve thermal performance. The result is 1% energy savings, which translates to more than 4 TWh globally. Furthermore, accurate output current and temperature telemetry help significantly improve system intelligence and processor performance.

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