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IBM Hardware

IBM Deploys Hot-Water Cooled Supercomputer 112

MrSeb writes "With the ISC (International Supercomputer Conference) kicking off this week, there's been a flurry of announcements around new supercomputer buildouts. One of the more interesting systems debuting this week is SuperMUC — IBM's new supercomputer at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Germany IBM is billing SuperMUC as the first 'hot-water cooled supercomputer,' an advance it claims cut power consumption by 40%. Dubbed Aquasar, the new system looks like any standard water cooler: water is pumped in one side of the blade, circulates throughout the system, and is pumped out. The difference, according to IBM, are the microchannels etched into the copper heatblock above the CPU cores. Rather than simply being dumped, SuperMUC's waste heat is designed to be converted into building heat during winter. Presumably it is mostly radiated away in summer, rather than being dumped into the offices of angry German scientists."
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IBM Deploys Hot-Water Cooled Supercomputer

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  • Seen on Slashdot (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1sockchuck ( 826398 ) on Monday June 18, 2012 @05:36PM (#40364521) Homepage
    Slashdot began tracking this one two years ago [slashdot.org].
  • It's complicated (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2012 @06:50PM (#40365085)

    Water can be a b***h to use in a closed-loop cooling system. If it has any appreciable electrical conductivity, you get electrolytic corrosion of different metals in the cooling loop. If you use 18 megohm DI water, you get corrosion for other reasons. Depending on whether you have exposure to air (like in an evaporative cooling tower), you get bacterial and algal blooms, dirt, dust, pigeon poop - it's not as simple as "pump the water around in a circle and move the heat with it". Many closed loop water cooling systems run about 50% glycol plus other additives to mitigate the nastiness.

  • Yawn... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cyrano de Maniac ( 60961 ) on Monday June 18, 2012 @07:23PM (#40365289)

    Decades ago Cray heated their building in Mendota Heights Minnesota entirely using waste heat from the supercomputers. When they built their new campus a few miles away and sold the old building they had to go through some amount of trouble to retrofit it with heating from conventional fuels.

    What's old is new again.

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson