Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, January 28, 2023

Asetek Scores First Point With Liquid Cooling 

Asetek reports that it’s taken the first order for its RackCDU liquid cooling system. The order for five RackCDUs from an undisclosed OEM will be used to cool 280 compute nodes in an HPC cluster, the company reports.

RackCDU is a hot water, direct-to-chip (D2C), data center liquid cooling system that Asetek claims can cut a data center’s energy cost by 50 percent, while simultaneously enabling five times greater density of IT gear in a data center.

The key components of the RackCDU include “pump/cold plate assemblies” that replace the heat sinks that typically sit on top of a CPU or GPU, and pull heat off of the processors. These assemblies are connected to plastic tubes that lead (through unused PCIe slots) to heat exchangers that cool the water in the system with outside air. In some cases, the heat exchangers enable customers to reuse the waste heat energy for use in other parts of the facility.

Asetek sells two versions of the RackCDU, including the base D2C model, and a more exotic ISAC (In-Server Air Conditioning) version. Whereas the base D2C model will still require air conditioners to get rid of any excess heat generated by servers, with the ISAC version, the air is sealed inside of the server, and recirculates inside the server rather than exiting and heating up the data center. This enables organizations using the ISAC offering to completely forgo the need for external air conditioning in the data center, the company claims.

Liquid cooling has become more popular as data centers struggle to cope with the heat generated by the addition of racks of servers. According to Asetek, data centers around the world consume about 30 billion watts of electricity for cooling alone. That’s about 1 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption, the company says.

Asetek was founded in 2000, and is based in Denmark. The company says there have been more than 1.5 million deployments of liquid cooling units based on its patented liquid cooling technology. Partners include supercomputer maker Cray, PC makers HP, Lenovo, Alienware, and Asus. The company had its IPO on the Oslo Stock Exchange earlier this year.

About the author: Alex Woodie

Alex Woodie has written about IT as a technology journalist for more than a decade. He brings extensive experience from the IBM midrange marketplace, including topics such as servers, ERP applications, programming, databases, security, high availability, storage, business intelligence, cloud, and mobile enablement. He resides in the San Diego area.

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