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The Water Cooled Power7 IH Supercomputing Node/System - Part I
Keywords: Water, Cooling, System
Back in 2008 IBM reintroduced water cooling technology into it's high performance computing platform, the Power 575 Supercomputing node/system. Water cooled cold plates were used to cool the processor modules which represented about half of the total system (rack) heat load. An air-to-liquid heat exchanger was also mounted in the rear door of the rack to remove a significant fraction of the other half of the rack heat load; the heat load to air. Water cooling enabled a compute node that was 34% greater performance (Flops), resulted in a processor temperature 20-30 oC lower than that typically provided with air cooling, and reduced the power consumed in the data center to transfer the IT heat to the outside ambient by as much as 45%. The next generation of this platform, the Power7 IH Supercomputing node/system, is a monumental leap forward in computing performance and energy efficiency. The compute node and system were designed from the start with water cooling in mind. The result, a system with greater than 95% of it's heat load conducted directly to water; a system that, together with a rear door heat exchanger, removes 100% of it's heat load to water with no requirement for room air conditioning. In addition to the processor, memory, power conversion, and I/O electronics conduct their heat to water. The Power7 IH Supercomputing node/system will be overviewed with particular attention given to the water cooling system.
Michael J. Ellsworth, Jr., Senior Technical Staff Member
IBM Corporation
Poughkeepsie, NY

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