Acoustical Engineering at Dell

date April 29, 2016
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Friday, April 29, 2016 4:00 p.m. in ETC 4.150

Chris E. Peterson and Paul Waters
Concept Systems Engineering and Acoustical Engineering Teams
Dell, Inc.
Round Rock, Texas

Acoustical engineering at Dell, Inc., covers several areas of server design. Traditional server acoustical metrics include A-weighted sound power level and A-weighted sound pressure level, the measurements and reporting of which are governed by ISO standards. Dell has set thresholds for these metrics but has also determined sound quality and thus its regulation and design to be important to server customers. Sound quality includes metrics such as prominence ratio, modulation, and tonality, and describes acoustical characteristics that trigger human assessment, such as perception of performance or degree of annoyance, of a product. A final area to be discussed in the presentation is throughput degradation of rotational media. Vibration transmitted through a server from fans interrupts the ability of hard drive to read and write to its platters, and sound pressure levels attained in a server are also sufficient to interfere with hard drive performance.