Supercomputer cooling system enables speed with less cooling costs

Super computer vendor Cray Inc. unveiled a liquid cooling technology it said will allow computers to operate at unprecedented speeds of multiple petaflops, or thousands of trillions of calculations per second.

The new ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid EXchange) technology promotes energy savings by allowing greater system density, reducing the need for costly air cooling mechanisms, and limiting the need for chilled water.

The company’s Cray XT5 systems will ship with the new cooling technology later this year.

“Most large computers today exhaust heat into the air, and then the Computer Room Air Conditioner [CRAC] units have to remove the heat from the air and put it into chilled water. This method is very inefficient. For a petascale system, the area taken up by the CRAC units could exceed the computer footprint, wasting precious datacenter space and energy,” said Cray chief technology officer Steve Scott.

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