[Beowulf] liquid cooling for HPC

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Dec 5 05:51:42 PST 2012

On 12/5/12 5:40 AM, "Jörg Saßmannshausen" <j.sassmannshausen at ucl.ac.uk>

>Dear Jim,
>the motherboard is really immersed in this fluorinated liquid which acts
>as a 
>heat transfer medium here. This heat is then transferred to the cooling
>which is where the water channels are coming in. The whole box is sealed
>there should be no escape of the fluorinated liquid here. The only
>leakage would be the water connectors here. This water is pumped around
>in a 
>closed loop and you need a heat exchanger to remove that heat. Here you
>use that heat to heat up a cold corridor etc., similar as you do with a
>pump in your house.

OK.. That seems a halfway decent design..

I guess what it really comes down to is whether it's useful enough to
spend whatever it costs, instead of traditional techniques (hot/cold
aisles, heat exchangers in cabinet doors, etc.)

The real problem I see is that it is only made by one company, and they
don't appear to be trying to get other companies to adopt it (e.g. By
giving away the design), so, unlike more conventional rack mount machines,
you're "locked in" to the one supplier.  Once you make the investment in
these things, there's no going back.

At least with standard motherboards in standard sheet metal, they are
really a commodity.. That is, you can buy 4U and 2U chassis from hundreds
of suppliers.  There are some that are better than others, but the
"barrier to entry" for a new firm is fairly low, so firms can distinguish
themselves on things like service friendlyness, rail design, fastener
choice, etc.


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