Nvidia has developed a new specification intended to make your computer system much smarter. According to their press release, Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA) is "a new standard for real-time monitoring & controlling PC chassis, power supplies, & water cooling peripherals."
While enthusiasts may already monitor and control the components covered by ESA, it generally requires third party utilities and external monitoring devices. ESA will allow the same functions to be managed from one central location that may already be monitoring and controlling other system components. While this will be an open standard for manufacturers to implement as they see fit, it is foreseen that the existing features found in Nvidia's nTune will be supplemented with ESA component control/monitoring.
The present landscape of basic system communication looks a bit like the image below. The processor, disk drives, graphics card, networking, and system memory have their respective connections to the motherboard, but the cooling devices, chassis, and power supply are left out of the loop.
ESA certified components would feature embedded micro-controllers that could communicate with the motherboard using a USB connection. The landscape would then look more like the image below, and provide the extra information listed.
Taking a look at each of the three subsystems supported by ESA, the following data would now be available to a user looking to optimize their system...
» Liquid Cooling System - A liquid cooling system would be able to provide information on the coolant level, pump status/speed, and the coolant temperature.
» Case - A case would be able to sense monitor multiple temperature sensors, control and monitor multiple fans, and control system lighting effects.
» Power Supply - A power supply would be able to provide information on total load, monitor and control voltage, monitor amperage, and the internal temperature.