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12 Teraflops in a desktop: Two-phases, low temperatures, no noise
Keywords: Thermal Management, Two-phase, High Performance Computing
This work presents the thermal management solution for the Cipher R40 desktop supercomputer developed by Rave Computer. The computer contains four K80 GPU computational nodes from NVIDIA and two 18 core Intel CPUs. All together, this workstation operates with nearly 12 TeraFLOPS of computational power. It also generates a huge amount of heat: at full utilization, the GPUs and CPUs dissipate nearly 1500 W. The target for this product was to deliver this high performance and power dissipation while generating less than 50 dB of noise. The only means of accomplishing this was to employ liquid cooling on the CPUs and NVIDIA K80 cards. Ebullient two-phase liquid cooling was chosen to implement the cooling system. The phase-change heat transfer allowed for small, quiet pumps to be employed while removing 1500 W of heat to two separate radiators and maintaining the CPU and GPU temps well below any temperature limits. The phase-change system also allows the GPUs to be maintained within a very tight temperature band when they are equally loaded. The NVIDIA K80 processors were able to operate in “Boost Mode” continuously, even as the ambient exceeded comfortable temperatures for human operators. This presentation will provide a description of the design and operations of this system, as well as test results demonstrating the system’s performance under typical conditions.
Tim Shedd, CEO and CTO
Ebullient, Inc.
Madison, Wisconsin
United States


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