IBM has developed a hot-water cooled supercomputer that consumes 40% less energy than a comparable air-cooled system.
The supercomputer has been devised in collaboration with the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching, Germany, in response to a new requirement that all state funded institutions in the country run on 100% sustainable electricity.
Currently, up to 50% of a conventional air-cooled data centre’s energy demand comes from the cooling system – not the actual computing.
So IBM developed a hot-water cooling technology for the SuperMUC supercomputer that directly cools active components in the system, such as processors and memory modules, which can reach temperatures of 45°C.
The “revolutionary” cooling system eliminates the need for conventional air cooling and allows the waste energy to be captured and re-used to heat the buildings during winter, saving some €1 million a year in running costs.
The hot-water cooling system also allows the computer, which is the fastest in Europe and the fourth fastest in the world, to be ten times more compact than a comparable air-cooled system.
“As we continue to deliver on our long-term vision of a zero emission data centre, we may eventually achieve a million fold reduction in the size of SuperMUC, so that it can be reduced to the size of a desktop computer with a much higher efficiency than today, ” says Bruno Michel, manager of IBM’s advanced thermal packaging research programme.
For further information:
HP unveils net zero-energy data centre design (1-Jun)
Apple’s new data centre to run on 100% renewable energy (21-May)
IBM wins plaudits from EC for energy efficient data centres (9-Jan)
20 June 2012