IBM announced late last week that it had installed a new supercomputer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The new hot water cooled computer is dubbed Aquasar and claims to consume 40% less energy than a comparable air-cooled system. The hot water comes from the use of waste heat produced at the university to provide heat to the buildings.
By using this hot water created from waste heat the supercomputer’s carbon footprint is reduced by up to 85%. IBM claims that the use of liquid cooling in a supercomputer is up to 50% more efficient than air-cooling.
The Aquasar supercomputer is cooled using water that is up to 60C circulated through micro-channel liquid coolers connected directly to the CPUs of the machine. The hot water cooling is able to keep the CPUs inside the supercomputer below their maximum allowed temperature of 85C. IBM claims that the water output from cooling the CPUs is up to 65C.