Power Management for Computers, Telecommunications, and Others
As processor-based systems, such as servers, laptop and desktop computers, become more complex, more power is consumed by both active and standby systems. Consequently, efficient power management solution for such a system imposes new challenges to energy management, especially for improved light load efficiency and battery life. Power-system design at the board level has long been dominated by such issues as efficiency, thermal management, voltage regulation, reliability, power density, and cost. Going forward, these factors will remain critical, particularly in the face of falling supply voltages and rising current demands. Furthermore, with the increasing emphasis of saving energy and extending battery life, achieving high efficiency, both at full load and light load, is yet another challenge. Facing the increasing demand for more energy efficient power management and distribution, it is critical to revisit the currently employed power architectures which have evolved over time. These architectures may no longer be the right solution to meet future needs.
Since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in 2005 the ENERGY STAR specification for computers, many of the major corporations and system manufacturers, such as HP, Dell, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Google, Microsoft, etc., have made an earnest push for yet higher energy efficiency, targeting a near-term goal of achieving 92% at 20% load, 94% at 50% load, and 92% at full load. The challenges of meeting these efficiency requirements, as well as the requirements for standby, sleep and idle power limits, offer numerous opportunities for research and innovations in the pursuit of more energy efficient power management solutions at the systems level over and beyond anyone could imagine.
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