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Intel is betting big on liquid immersion cooling

GRC
(Image credit: GRC)

Intel has announced a new partnership that will see the company expand its exploration of liquid immersion cooling, a technique whereby server hardware is submerged in tanks of non-conductive fluid.

The firm will collaborate with liquid immersion company Green Revolution Cooling (GRC) to address various challenges faced by the data center industry today, from a performance, cost and sustainability perspective.

The pair will develop custom solutions for racks powered by Intel Xeon CPUs and work together to ensure new dielectric fluids entering the market are both safe to use and compatible with hardware developments.

Liquid immersion cooling

Although liquid immersion dates all the way back to 1985, when it was deployed in the Cray-2 supercomputer, the technique has attracted increasing interest over the last few years as data center operators seek out more sustainable and effective ways to keep their hardware cool.

Traditionally, facilities run by cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud have relied on air conditioning and liquid cooling. But these methods are inefficient, expensive and resource-intensive, especially when facilities are located in tropical climates.

Not only is liquid immersion cooling more environmentally friendly (because very little energy is required), but recent research also suggests the technique has a number of performance advantages too, courtesy of superior thermal management.

It also opens up opportunities where rack design and facility layout are concerned. Because there is no longer a need for bulky heat sinks, a larger number of servers can be squeezed into a far smaller area.

According to Intel, its new partnership will help provide “cutting edge technologies” that deliver greater efficiency and density for both data center and edge deployments, in addition to environmental benefits.

“Through this collaboration, we are able to provide customers with custom solutions to meet their computing and cooling needs to help ensure that data centers operate in a more environmentally sensitive way,” said Mohan Kumar, Senior Fellow at Intel.

The deal with GRC is the second such partnership announced by Intel in recent months. In August, the company teamed up with Submer, another liquid immersion cooling company, with a view to establishing open industry-standard solutions that support the next generation of data centers.

Via Tom's Hardware

Joel Khalili is a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He's interested in receiving pitches around cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, storage, internet infrastructure, mobile, 5G and business hardware.