Submerged Supercomputer Named The Most Energy Efficient Machine of Its Kind

Liquid-Cooled Supercomputers, to Trim the Power Bill

The New York Times, February 11, 2014

TOKYO — Dropping a home computer into a vat of liquid would wreck it.

Yet some operators of supercomputers are submerging their machines in liquids, without causing any apparent damage, to keep them from overheating. Advocates say so-called immersion or submersion cooling could solve one of the biggest challenges of the digital economy: reducing the air-conditioning bills and environmental strains of the power-hungry servers and supercomputers that crunch ever-rising mountains of data.

A prototype supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is submerged in a tank of mineral oil, was named in November in an industry ranking, the Green500, as the most energy-efficient machine of its kind. The computer, called Tsubame KFC, is 50 percent more powerful than an older supercomputer at the institute but uses the same amount of energy.

Read More