A new range of microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics Pty Ltd can help the cloud become significantly more energy-efficient.
The digital infrastructure of today demands large quantities of electrical energy – data centres alone are believed to consume around 1.3% of the world’s electricity, equivalent to about 286,000 GWh per year. However, only about 40% of this energy is used productively, according to Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) calculations by the Uptime Institute, while the rest is lost, mostly as heat that must be dissipated by large and expensive cooling systems.
Given that the numbers of cloud users and uptake of cloud services are growing quickly and will continue to do so, it is imperative to improve efficiency.
Techniques such as digital control of computer power supplies can help boost data centre efficiency to over 60% by adjusting continuously with fluctuating power demand, according to the Uptime Institute. ST’s new microcontroller simplifies the data centre industry’s transition to energy-efficient digital power supplies, such as multi-phase interleaved or resonant soft-switching (LLC), by providing all the major power control functions in a single chip.
The 217ps high-resolution timer embedded in the STM32F334 guarantees superior precision allowing better power supply efficiency while the asynchronous ultra-fast reaction time guarantees safe operation. This will maximise the impact of digital power conversion to improve the cloud’s efficiency, potentially reducing global electricity demand by around 280GWh daily, roughly equivalent to the electricity production of the Netherlands.
According to Michel Buffa, General Manager, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics, the new STM32F334 Digital Power line adds innovations such as the high-resolution timer, and integrates features already proven in STM32 F3 devices used for digital motor drives and solar inverters to create some of the industry’s most advanced microcontrollers for digital power applications.
Featuring built-in high-speed peripherals incorporating versatile interconnects, multiple timer outputs, powerful CPU and communication peripherals, the STM32F334 microcontrollers greatly simplify digital control of complex power supply topologies used in data servers and telecom infrastructure, as well as in wireless charging points, lighting, welding, and industrial power supplies.
The new STM32F334 Digital Power line is an extension of ST’s successful STM32 family with the full pin and SW compatibility with the entry-level STM32F301 devices providing the powerful advantage of a single development platform. A proven development ecosystem supports the STM32F334 Digital Power line, assisting the design of high-performance digital power units.