Data Processing Units (DPUs), Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs), and Compute Express Link (CXL) technologies, which offload switching and networking tasks from server CPUs, have the potential to significantly improve the data center power efficiency. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) believes enterprises that use such techniques and focus on power reduction can realize about a 33% power efficiency improvement.

In the last year, several new technologies have emerged that take a new look at data center power consumption. While taking different approaches, the solutions all seek to improve energy efficiency by offloading switching and networking chores from CPUs, just as GPUs and hardware-based encryption reduce the load on CPUs (and thus drive down overall power usage). Here are some of the major developments to watch:

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