Enver Candan with adviser Robert Pilawa-Podgurski


Figure 24: Series-stacked power delivery architecture

As high-performance computation and data storage are moved to cloud services, data centers have seen an increased need for high power delivery in computing and storage modules. This research seeks to demonstrate how a series-stacked architecture leveraging an inherently high-efficiency power delivery architecture can be used to improve power delivery efficiency in data centers. By electrically connecting the computing or storage modules in series (as shown in Fig.24), the proposed power delivery architecture greatly reduces the requisite power conversion inside the servers, yielding significantly reduced power loss, thus higher system-level efficiency.

Recently efforts have focused on providing a proof-of-concept for the series-stacked power delivery architecture under real-life data center operation conditions, such as initializing, hot-swapping of servers and uninterrupted power supply integration. For an experimental verification of the proposed architecture, a modular testbed has been created with four workstations and four dual active bridge converters as shown in Fig. 25. A computation scenario is executed on the workstations to verify the performance of the proposed architecture under the above mentioned real-life data center operation conditions. During a variety of experiments, the proposed architecture achieved above 99% overall power delivery efficiency.


Figure 25: An annotated photograph of the experimental testbed

This research is supported by Prof. Pilawa’s Gift Account, Texas Instruments, Google and NSF Series-Stacked Servers  Funding (Grant No. 1509815)