I Squared What?


It’s the new popular color in the electronics world. GREEN! Everyone, everything, everywhere is better when green.

I²R losses is the general term to denote inefficiencies in power transfer and conversion. And since there are more computer chips running our lives, we need more power. It takes a lot of electrons to open and close those tiny little gates in the computer chips that are now found everywhere! And in route from the nuclear power station or the hydro electric dams, a lot of those electrons are wasted on heat that is generated by electric currents.

Of course, we all want to use as little copper as possible to push those little electrons along the way. One Ampere of current equals the flow of one Coulomb of electrons (6.25 * 10 to the 18th power) past any point of a conductor in one second.  Now I don’t know about you, but in my house, between hairdryers, curling irons and televisions running all the time that is a lot of electrons!And a lot of those are just wasted!  Look around your home and see the LED lights on your clocks, stereos, refrigerators and everything that’s on 24/7, then take that times 50 million homes and that is a lot of wasted energy!

Server farms devour more electricity than I think most folks realize. These are the systems that run the internet. And more and more, the architects that build these server farms are paying attention to I²R losses as the cost of running these server farms increases. And with cloud computing around the corner, this will only go up.

We haven’t seen it yet, but soon the engineers that are choosing connectors are going to want to know about I²R losses in the interface. There are a lot of other improvements that will generate electricity savings before the connectors jump up on the radar screen…

But we know Big Brother will be watching us soon!