Power Electronics

Increasing Internet Traffic and the Video Streaming Boom Will Encourage Large Data Center Investments

Last year, around $143B was invested worldwide for new data center projects. Large internet companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google are leading the investment in next-generation "green" data centers. There is a trend towards building larger data centers, consolidating and densifying server concentration for the sites which require more efficient buildings.

Consequently, the blade server market for data centers will display a 2015 - 2020 CAGR of +10.8%, while the entire server market will increase by 2.3%. Global server market share for data centers will increase from slightly lower than 20% in 2014 to almost 35% by 2020. Our regional split shows that North America (particularly the US) has the biggest share of the server market, at 34%/$3.5B. Europe, however, leads the uPs equipment and cooling systems markets for data centers. In fact, Europe's large uPs (>100kVA) market was estimated at $931M in 2014. In this report, Yole Développement presents market forecasts for 2010 -2020, regional splits, and players' market share for servers, UPS, and cooling systems. Also, each technology's technical evolution will be presented.

Data centers are huge electricity users, representing around 1.62% of the world's consumed energy in 2014. Yole Développement analyses several possible scenarios for the evolution of data centers' energy consumption. In the actual scenario, with an average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) of 1.8, worldwide data center energy consumption will reach 507.9 TWh by 2020. In our hypothetical scenarios, there's a possibility for achieving a 12.4% decrease of this number by implementing some new technologies.

Examples from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook show that it is possible to build highly-efficient data centers, with PUEs close to 1.1. In order to address the urgency for reduced energy consumption, manufacturers are emphasizing improved efficiency of the architectural design, the equipment, the cooling system, and more. Yole Développement report describes some of the more efficient modern data center architectures (modular Alternative Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) grid), as well as some upcoming technologies, i.e. silicon photonics and WBG materials that could reduce energy consumption.

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