Power delivery is now the limiting factor
Power delivery and power efficiency has become the largest concern in large scale computing systems. The industry has witnessed a dramatic increase in power consumed by processors with the advent of ASICs and GPUs processing complex AI functions. Rack power has also subsequently increased with AI capability being utilized in large scale learning and inferencing application deployments. In most cases, power delivery is now the limiting factor in computing performance as new CPUs look to consume ever increasing currents. Power delivery entails not just the distribution of power but also the efficiency, size, cost and thermal performance.
Progression of Vicor customer GPU/CPU peak current requirements
The Vicor 48V ecosystem of modular components
Vicor has established a portfolio of products enabling AC or HV distribution and Factorized Power Solutions for 48V direct to the load conversion. 48V distribution provides a maximum SELV voltage that reduces distribution losses by 16X over conventional 12V distribution. All of these products demonstrate high density, high efficiency, and cost performance able to meet the needs of large scale computing systems utilizing the most advanced CPUs, GPUs, or ASICs.
Enabling HVDC distribution
The BCM® (Bus Converter Module) can be used to convert HVDC to an isolated SELV output for 48V distribution. The through hole mounted package has a 61 x 23 x 7.2mm form factor that enables the distribution of HVDC within a rack or directly into the servers, allowing for optimal placement within air, liquid, or immersion-cooled systems. The fixed ratio conversion enables a peak efficiency of 98% with up to 35A of output current for high power processors, memory, solid-state drives, and additional features.
AC power in a rack or tank
The RFM is a solution for high power computing racks and immersion tank systems. The planar form factor enables easy integration into advanced cooling systems and also provides the option to re-deploy AC power in the system.
Solutions for powering the processor
Factorized Power Architecture
Factorized Power Architecture factorizes the power into the dedicated functions of regulation and transformation. Both of these functions are able to be optimized and deployed individually to provide a high density and high-efficiency solution. This solution is a departure from the conventional 12V multiphase scheme that relies on a parallel array of switching regulators and inductors. This conventional scheme is difficult to scale: more power means more regulators to be paralleled, overall size increases and distance of the high current delivery to the processor increases. All results in more losses incurred in the system. Learn more about Vicor Factorized Power Architecture
Power-on-Package Lateral Power Delivery (LPD)
High-current delivery is provided via MCM (Modular Current Multiplier) modules that are placed adjacent to the processor either on the motherboard or on the processor substrate. Placement of MCMs on the substrate minimizes PDN losses and reduces the number of processor substrate BGA pins required for power. LPD is designed to support the power delivery demands and unique form factor of OCP Accelerator Module (OAM) cards and custom AI accelerator cards.
Power-on-Package Vertical Power Delivery (VPD)
VPD further eliminates power distribution losses and VR PCB board area consumption. VPD is similar in design to the Vicor LPD solution, with the added integration of bypass capacitance into the current multiplier or GCM module.
Enabling migration from 12V to 48V systems
48V power in legacy systems
The Vicor NBM2317 enables efficient conversion from 48V to 12V and vice versa as the NBM is a bidirectional converter. Integrating a legacy board into a 48V infrastructure or the latest GPU into a legacy 12V rack is easily accomplished utilizing the NBM.
Power auxiliary loads direct from 48V
Vicor ZVS Regulators provide 48V to 12V, 5V and 3.3V conversion supporting auxiliary rails on a server board or blade. These regulators are no larger and have efficiency comparable to conventional 12V regulators.