Case study summary
When Delta Electronics redesigned enterprise server power supply units to more efficiently and sustainably power data centers around the world, the company chose TI’s gallium nitride (GaN) technology and TI’s power experts to help make it possible. Combining TI GaN with Delta’s expertise in power supply design led to a breakthrough in power density for data centers – an 80% improvement compared to power supplies that use a traditional architecture.
“GaN has crossed the threshold from being a future technology to an immediate, viable option available today for new designs of power supply systems," said Ares Chen, general manager of the Power and System Business Group at Delta. "This is especially true for server power supply units, for which we are looking to exceed 98% efficiency and increase power density. Collaboration with industry leaders such as TI allows us to continue improving energy efficiency in our products and revolutionize power design and architectures as we know them.”
As demands on data centers grow, so do their power needs. Delta sought to provide more power to servers without increasing size or compromising system efficiency.
By combining TI GaN technology with Delta expertise, the innovative power supply design maximized power density and efficiency for better system performance in limited space.
The new power supply design offers up to 99.2% efficiency for single stage and overall power cost reductions for data centers, boosting time-critical processing and precision control as well as software and peripheral scalability.
Delta powers energy-efficient data centers with TI GaN
As data centers continue to power internet searches, support video calls and store the world’s information, they’re face increasing demand for faster, more powerful processing. With limited space to expand, engineers are challenged to make existing servers more efficient.
“The demand for better performance in data centers is higher than ever, and as a result, we’ve been continuously challenged to get more power into the same or smaller space,” said Kai Dong, R&D manager of Delta Custom Design Business Unit. “Size is a limit. We were searching for the key to help us solve the power density problem.”
Delta sought to combine their power electronics expertise with an industry leader to develop a more energy-efficient enterprise server power-supply design. The company chose TI based on its decade-long investment in its highly integrated GaN technology and its innovative semiconductor manufacturing processes that produce GaN-on-silicon technology and integrated circuits. TI’s long-term investment and flexible manufacturing strategy will allow it to grow as a leading GaN supplier as demand increases and the trend continues toward smaller systems supporting more data.
Developing a smaller, more efficient, more reliable power system required an integrated solution that would achieve higher performance within limited board space. TI GaN field-effect transistors (FETs) integrate a fast-switching driver, plus internal protection and temperature sensing.
The integrated circuits are backed by more than 40 million hours of device reliability testing and more than 5 GWh of power conversion testing, providing rigorous reliability data to support engineers who want to consider GaN to build power systems that are smaller, lighter and more efficient.
By leveraging the power of GaN, Delta’s solution offers overall power cost reductions and an 80% improvement in power density with 1% better efficiency — up to 98% — for data centers, compared to solutions using a traditional architecture. A 1% improvement equals 1 megawatt (the equivalent of a yearly energy use of 800 households) total cost of ownership savings per data center, according to Energy Innovation.1
“The application of GaN converges with Delta’s core expertise in high-efficiency power electronics to maximize power density, without giving up efficiency performance,” said Kai. “At the end of the day, the GaN technology opens the door to a new world of products that have not been possible until now.”
Delta, founded in 1971, is a global leader in switching power supplies and thermal management products with a thriving portfolio of smart energy-saving systems and solutions in the fields of industrial automation, building automation, telecom power, data center infrastructure, EV charging, renewable energy, energy storage and display, to nurture the development of smart manufacturing and sustainable cities. As a world-class corporate citizen guided by its mission statement, “To provide innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow,” Delta leverages its core competence in high-efficiency power electronics and its ESG-embedded business model to address key environmental issues, such as climate change. Delta serves customers through its sales offices, R&D centers and manufacturing facilities spread over close to 200 locations across 5 continents.
Read more about Delta Electronics
1 Energy Innovation, "How Much Energy Do Data Centers Really Use?", March 17, 2020
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