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Intel to build elaborate 'mega-lab' to trial new cooling technologies

Racks of servers inside a data center.
(Image credit: Future)

Intel is set to pump $700 million into a new ‘mega-lab’ focused on building next-generation immersion liquid cooling technology.

The 200,000-square-foot building will begin construction later this year at the company’s Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro, Oregon, with its opening expected in late 2023. 

Immersion cooling enables servers and other computing components to be submerged in dielectric liquid, which makes expensive data centre air conditioning unnecessary.

What will the lab do?

Aside from immersion cooling, the lab will also conduct research into water usage effectiveness and heat recapture and reuse

In addition, Intel said the lab will work on qualifying, testing and enabling Intel’s portfolio of data center and dedicated hosting products including Intel Xeon, Intel Optane, network interfaces and switch gear, Intel Agilex FPGAs, Xe architecture, Habana accelerators and other future products under development. 

The new lab will also host an "advanced technology showcase" for customers and partners to observe and test Intel products in a variety of data center environments in the lab.

In addition, Intel has also released an open intellectual property (open IP) immersion liquid cooling solution and reference design

Intel said the design will allow partners to accelerate the introduction of Intel solutions in response to the trend of increasing data center power density.

The initial solution and design proof of concept will be completed in partnership with Intel Taiwan and implemented across the Taiwanese ecosystem in a phased approach, with plans to scale out globally.   

Data center sustainability continues to be a pertinent issue.

Data centers represent approximately 1% of the global electricity demand and account for about 0.3% of global carbon emissions according to Intel’s own staistics.

Fuelled by growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, data center revenue will reportedly touch $948 billion by the end of the decade, according to forecasts from data and analytics company GlobalData.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrency, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, payments, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long form feature writer.