Telephony and electricity have been always intertwined. AC (alternating current) won over DC (direct current), but DC lived on in the wireline network, where it powered the telephone independently of the electrical grid. Now, with increasing interest in data centers and in their energy efficiency, DC is coming back, according to the NYT. But those constant conversions cause power losses. For example, in conventional data centers, with hundreds of computers, electricity might be converted and “stepped down” in voltage five times before being used.