Infineon to increase power supply unit for data center racks to 12 kW

Infineon Technologies says it is ready to support the incredibly escalating power demands of AI data centers and released a roadmap on Friday that envisions a 12-kilowatt power board sometime after early 2025.

The company currently supports a 3.3 kilowatt power supply unit (PSU) and showed on a slide presented to Fierce that it will move to 8 kW in the Q1 2025 followed by a 12kW PSU sometime afterwards (without formally announcing a year or quarter for the 12 kW version).

slide with four power supply units

Power demands are being driven by AI processing for training and inference which Nvidia, primarily, supports with GPUs such as the recently-announced Blackwell chip that consumes up to 1,200 watts. Nvidia is getting some competition from AMD and Intel, but dominates the AI chip market and saw its stock price reach above $1,000 on Wednesday after announcing a positive first quarter. Infineon does not make GPUs but controls a large portion of the market for PSUs.

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By the end of 2024, Infineon plans to demonstrate its 8kW PSU to support up to 100 watts of power per cubic inch in a data center server, said Christian Burrer, vice president, systems and applications for power, at Infineon, in an interview. That is an amount capable of support AI racks with power levels of up to 300 kilowatts. The potential for AI growth and power demands in data centers is “huge,” he said. Infineon’s 3kW unit supports power density of 32 watts per cubic inch, by comparison.

Burrer and the industry at large believes a 1 kilowatt per GPU today will increase to 2 kilowatts in years to come. AI-based data centers consume three to four times the electricity of data centers supporting CPU servers, he said. He quoted the IEA prediction that data centers globally will account for up to 7% of global electricity by 2030, up from 2% now. At 7%, that would be comparable to India’s current electricity consumption.

The improvements in Infineon’s PSUs will come from its use of silicon, silicon carbide and gallium nitride semiconductors. Infineon collaborated with data center operators on ways to improve power efficiency and density, he said. A lower number of capacitors reduces volume and allows higher reliability in a compact system. PSU efficiency now exceeds 97.5%, Infineon said.  Wide bandgap materials like SiC and and GaN are key to efficient use of energy, Burrer said.

Infineon concluded the purchase of GaN Systems in early 2024, which furthers Infineon’s intentions to build power supplies that are energy efficient and more dense, he added.