Infineon announces roadmap for power supply units in AI data centres

28th May 2024
Paige West

The influence of artificial intelligence (AI) is driving up the energy demand of data centres across the globe.

This growing demand underscores the need for efficient and reliable energy supply for servers. Infineon Technologies opens a new chapter in the energy supply domain for AI systems and unveils a roadmap of energy-efficient power supply units (PSU) specifically designed to address the current and future energy needs of AI data centres.

By introducing PSU performance classes, Infineon enables Cloud data centre and AI server operators to reduce their energy consumption for system cooling. The PSUs reduce power consumption and CO2 emissions, resulting in lower lifetime operating costs. The PSUs are not only used in future data centres but can also replace existing power supply units in servers and increase efficiency.

In addition to the current PSUs with an output of 3 and 3.3kW available, the new 8 and 12kW PSUs contribute to further increasing energy efficiency in future AI data centres. With the 12kW reference board, Infineon offers the world's first power supply unit that achieves this level of performance and supplies future data centres with power.

Adam White, Division President Power & Sensor Systems at Infineon, says: "At Infineon, we power AI. We are addressing a critical question of our era – how to efficiently meet the escalating energy demands of data centres. It’s a development that is only possible by Infineon's expertise in integrating the three semiconductor materials silicon (Si), silicon carbide (SiC), and gallium nitride (GaN) into a single module. Our PSU portfolio is therefore not only an example of Infineon's innovative strength, which leads to first-class results in terms of performance, efficiency, and reliability for data centres and the AI ecosystem. It also reinforces Infineon's market leadership in power semiconductors."

Infineon is responding to the requirements of data centre operators for higher system efficiency and lower downtimes. The growth of server and data centre applications has led to an increase in power requirements, necessitating the development of power supplies with higher power ratings from 800W up to 5.5kW and beyond. This increase is driven by the growing power requirements of Graphic Process Units (GPU) on which AI applications are computed.

High-level GPUs now require up to 1kW per chip, reaching 2kW and beyond by the end of the decade. This will lead to higher overall energy demand for data centres. Depending on the scenario, data centres will account for up to 7% of global electricity consumption by 2030; this is an order of magnitude comparable to India's current electricity consumption.

Infineon’s new PSUs contribute to the efforts to limit the CO2 footprint of AI data centres despite the rapidly growing energy requirements. This is made possible by a particularly high level of efficiency that minimises power losses. Infineon's new generation PSUs achieve an efficiency of 97.5% and meet the most stringent performance requirements. The new 8kW PSU is capable of supporting AI racks with an output of up to 300kW and more. Efficiency and power density increase to 100 watts per in³ compared to 32 W/in³ in the available 3kW PSU, providing further benefits for the system size and cost savings for operators.

From a technical perspective, this is made possible by the unique combination of the three semiconductor materials Si, SiC, and GaN. These technologies contribute to the sustainability and reliability of AI server and data centre systems. Innovative semiconductors based on wide-bandgap materials such as SiC and GaN are the key to a conscious and efficient use of energy to drive decarbonisation.

The 8kW Power Supply Unit will be available in Q1 2025.

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