UII UPDATE 253 | MAY 2024
Intelligence Update

Why DC racks are still rarely used outside of hyperscalers

The way that most servers and network switches are deployed is fundamentally inefficient. Power is supplied at 120 volts (V) or 240V alternating current (AC) and then converted to direct current (DC) within each device to supply the electronics, which is typically at 6V DC. Each conversion involves losses, so why not, then, convert to DC higher up the power chain?

The use of DC in the utility grid has been limited to very long-distance high-voltage DC (HFCD) lines since Thomas Edison lost the War of the Currents to George Westinghouse’s AC system in the 1880s. While some companies have proposed using DC distribution inside buildings, it has not proved popular.

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