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Innovative and market-leading designs help Compuware stay ahead in the server PSU market
Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 8 June 2012]

Compuware Technology, a Taiwan-based server power supply unit maker that was founded in September of 2004, currently has about 300 employees worldwide and is targeting its business mainly in the enterprise market. Compuware's headquarters are located in Taiwan with production lines established in both Taiwan and China.

Differing from usual power supply units used in consumer PCs with power ranges from 300-700 watts, Compuware's specialty lies at its ability to manufacture power supply units with large watt numbers, and its comprehensive product lines allow the company to supply its clients power supply units with watt number ranges from 300W-3,000W.

Compuware's major product lines are power supply units with watt outputs of 500-1,800W, numbers that are generally used for industrial purpose products.

Although Compuware is mainly taking ODM and OEM orders from its clients, the company also started taking joint design manufacturing (JDM) orders a few years ago as its clients started to have special demands for their power supply units. Compuware cooperates with these clients to tune the power supply units to the desired status to satisfy these clients' needs.

Increasingly, a power supply unit's conversion efficiency is an important factor which Compuware has needed to consider, as the higher the efficiency, the lower the electricity costs server owners need to pay, while heat generated from conversion is also relatively lower. The company is already able to produce power supply units with a conversion rate of slightly above 95%, a percentage that outmatches most of its competitors. 30 years ago, the conversion rate of AC to DC was only about 70-75% and the percentage did not see any significantly improvements until four years ago. But within the past four years, Compuware has achieved success and was able to bring up its conversion efficiency from only 80%, to 95% while greatly improving many of the drawbacks of power supply products.

In addition to server power supply units, Compuware has also extended its power supply unit business into the industrial PC (IPC) industry as well as network equipment. Since IPC products or network equipment, just like servers, require power supply units with high power outputs, Compuware, with its specialty in power supply products, has advantages in landing orders from these industries.

For Computex 2012, Compuware is showcasing its latest products - the Digital power supply unit series. Through their digital design, the power supply units are able to achieve a higher conversion efficiency and are also more reliable in terms of possible failures. The technology also allows power supply units to be smaller in size and also provide convenient management as the design makes it possible to provide a lot more information about the power supply unit such as total power intake, conversion efficiency, and total power converted, via the system BIOS, than with previous analog-based models.

The company is also developing a new datacenter layout that accumulates all the power supply units into one location instead of installing a power supply unit in each server. Technology that allows one power supply unit to supply power to multiple servers means the design allows the accumulated power station to feature an even higher efficiency, while also occupying less space, and be cheaper. The layout is expected to gradually become the trend for future datacenter designs.

Compared to its competitors, Compuware's products have strong advantages in their conversion efficiency, size and density. With Compuware's small-size and high-density power supply products, the company's clients can place more server units into one datacenter, while the high conversion efficiency ensures a higher percentage of electricity used is converted to direct current (DC) for power supply purposes. The high efficiency also reduces clients' costs related to cooling needs as there is less energy wasted during the conversion, and thus less heat is generated.

In addition to power supply units, Compuware has also developed uninterruptible power supply (UPS) modules for servers and the product line will become an important business segment that the company will push for 2012. Compared to a standard UPS system, which first converts alternating current (AC) from the electrical socket to DC for storage in the internal battery, which is then converted back to AC when supplying power to devices, which then once again convert AC to DC for use, Compuware's UPS module allows the direct supply of DC to server products and eliminates the 10% of energy wasted between conversion between AC and DC of standard UPS systems.

Furthermore, the UPS modules also feature the same form factor as Compuware's power supply units, allowing the company to fully modularized its building block design for easier management.

With the company's strong R&D team working on new innovations in power supply units, the company has clients all over the server industry including first-tier server brand vendors as well as server ODMs/OEMs. With the server industry continuing to grow, benefiting largely by the business opportunities of cloud computing, Compuware, in cooperation with its clients, expects to see strong performance in the future.

Jeff Lo

Jeff Lo, Sales supervisor at Compuware
Photo: Joseph Tsai, Digitimes, May 2012

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