3M, Intel, SGI announce supercomputer that can reduce cooling energy costs by 95%

3M, chip vendor Intel and SGI today announced the completion of a supercomputer that can reduce cooling energy costs by 95 percent, thanks to two-phase immersion cooling technology pioneered by 3M.

3M’s two-phase immersion cooling technology can reduce cooling energy costs by 95 percent and reduces water consumption by eliminating municipal water usage for evaporative cooling. Heat can also be harvested from the system and reused for heating and other process technologies such as desalination of sea water.

SGI ICE X, the fifth generation of the world’s fastest distributed memory supercomputer and the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 hardware are placed directly into 3M Novec Engineered Fluid. The 3M Novec fluid is an efficient dielectric that keeps the hardware cooled with minimum additional energy, maximum performance and better reliability.

3M Two-Phase Liquid Immersion Cooling Technology

This technique has been shown to require 10 times less space than conventional air cooling and eliminates costly air cooling infrastructure and equipment associated with conventional liquid cooling, making it cost effective for large-scale data center hubs.

It enables much tighter component packaging – allowing for greater computing power in less space – and easy access to hardware with no residue. In fact, the system can enable up to 100 kilowatts of computing power per square meter.

SGI ICE X system can scale from tens of teraflops to tens of petaflops, and across technology generations, while maintaining uninterrupted production workflow. The system enables tighter component packaging and scalability, helping reduce the system footprint. It minimizes system overhead and communication bottlenecks that can inhibit efficiency and scalability for a wide range of applications and customer needs.

By investing in cooling technologies, companies such as Intel and SGI can explore hardware designs without the heat transfer constraints of traditional cooling, while being more affordable and less complex to build and operate.

This installation is designed to prove the viability of the two-phase immersion technology using Novec fluids, and to validate open and future proof platform designs.

The companies are working with the Naval Research Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and APC by Schneider Electric to deploy and evaluate an identical system with the intention to demonstrate the viability of the technology at any scale.

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