NVIDIA Enthusiast System Architecture - new cooling standard

Posted on Monday, Nov 05 2007 @ 15:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA today unveiled a new monitoring and control standard called Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA). The new protocol aims to fine-tune the performance of high-end systems by offering a closer integration of all the components in your case:
The new ESA standard is built around the current USB HID class specification and is designed to support new monitoring and control capabilities for PC devices such as chassis, power supplies, and water and air cooling peripherals. Until the introduction of ESA, there was no standard communication protocol allowing such components to report information back to users. Essential data, such as temperature, thermal, voltage, and air flow attributes are made available in real-time and are critical to obtaining maximum PC performance and overclocking. With ESA, component manufacturers can now embed a wide variety of digital and analog sensors into their devices which can communicate real-time data for use in analyzing and optimizing overall PC operating conditions. In addition, ESA's logging functionality offers PC manufacturers and system builders an inexpensive and easy way to help identify PC operating abnormalities, and enable them to quickly identify and resolve customer support issues.
This animation explains how it works:

"ESA is a communication protocol that ties together all the key aspects of a system," said Rahul Sood, CTO of Global Gaming Business at HP. "Most significant to HP is the fact that we can potentially use ESA-enabled technology to create a unique and immediately noticeable benefit to our customers."
Some benefits of ESA for specific components:

Power supply:
  • Quieter operation, more easily to adjust fan speed
  • Adjust voltage levels
  • Reports on PSU operating conditions and status. Useful to determine how close to rated maximums the PSU is operating. You can monitor the load, efficiency and runtime voltage drops
  • Monitoring of internal PSU temperatures

    Water cooling
  • Adjust pump speed based on temperatures of CPU, GPU, MCP, ...
  • Adjust fan speeds based on monitored device temperatures
  • Monitor flow rate, water levels and temperatures. Allows you to get early warnings of leaks or thermal problems.

  • Manipulate LEDs and LCDs to reflect system status
  • Communicate fan and thermal sensor status for devices controlled by the chassis. This includes 3D positions of thermal and acoustic zones within the chassis using three dimensions of position data.

    The royalty-free standard already has broad support from big OEMs like Dell and HP, system builders like Alienware, Falcon Northwest and Maingear, motherboard makers like ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and XFX. Other firms who will support ESA are CoolerMaster, CoolIT Systems, PC Power & Cooling, SilverStone, Tagan, ThermalTake and Ultra.

    A PDF file with more info on ESA can be downloaded here.

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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