DENSITY AND PERFORMANCE FOR NEXT GENERATION DATA CENTER

Liquid and Immersion
Cooling Solutions

The rapid proliferation of data as we connect the unconnected, record our every movement, and collaborate like never before has driven equally significant growth in the data center market. This is where the zettabytes of data will be stored and analyzed daily. As this demand increases, so does density requirements and energy consumption, with 40% of a data center's typical power cost coming from cooling. At the same time, data centers are under pressure to increase efficiency, sustainability, and reduce their overall carbon footprint. And to compound existing challenges, technology is about to outpace what traditional air cooling methods can efficiently handle in the same form factor. All of this fuels the need for alternative cooling methods to meet the challenges and aptly address sustainability initiatives.

Direct to Chip Liquid Cooling (DCLC) and immersion are the future of cooling due to their inherent efficiency and density capabilities. In the simplest of terms, liquid methods perform a similar task to air by dissipating the heat from components like CPUs, GPUs, and accelerators and pulling it away from the hardware. As workloads become more demanding and these components become more powerful, their Thermal Design Power (TDP) increases. As TDP reaches and exceeds 350W, systems will require larger heat sinks and more space to cool with air effectively. Alternately, DCLC and immersion allow denser solutions with a smaller footprint while significantly reducing cooling costs.


Direct to Chip Liquid Cooling Defined


DCLC, also known as Direct to Chip, Liquid to Chip, and cold plate cooling, is the simplest and offers the lowest barrier to entry of liquid cooling options. A primary advantage to DCLC is that it can be used in traditional data centers in standard racks. The racks are retrofitted to take advantage of direct-to-chip technology without replacing massive amounts of legacy equipment. This method cools only specific components like CPUs, GPUs, and accelerators. Coolant flows through passive cold plate loops attached directly to components. It offers higher density, less power consumption, and decreased operating costs over traditional air-cooled solutions.

DCLC Server Diagram


Meet the Highest Density Requirements with Immersion Cooling

Ideally suited for high-performance, high-density computing environments. Immersion cooling offers 100 percent heat capture with lower PUEs than air cooling, often reaching PUE values of less than 1.1, ensuring that the power consumed is going towards useful work. In this method, servers are entirely immersed in a tank of dielectric fluid so heat can be captured and very efficiently removed from hot components. It is ideal for new deployments as well as high-performance, non-traditional compute environments where the air temperature is not easily regulated. As we look to the future, immersion will offer the densest energy-efficient solutions on the market while exceeding most sustainability goals.

Single-Phase Immersion Cooling

Single-phase immersion cooling utilizes engineered fluids that remains in a liquid phase throughout the process resulting in a lower cost of entry when considering immersion. These engineered fluids are a much better conductor of heat than air. As fluid flows through the system, it absorbs heat and transfers it to a heat exchanger via pumps. Here the fluid is cooled and funneled back into the enclosure. Less complex than two-phase, this method is well understood, less expensive, and provides very good cooling.

Single Phase Immersion Cooling Diagram

Two-Phase Immersion Cooling

The most dense and energy-efficient option, two-phase immersion cooling utilizes engineered fluids that absorb and reject heat from the server through evaporation and boiling actions. The evaporated fluid condenses back down to be recirculated in the tank. Utilizing engineered fluids that boil very rapidly at lower temperatures than water removes the heat very well with fewer pumps, making it the densest and energy-efficient solution. Two-phase immersion cooling does have a higher cost of entry; however, the density achieved results in an overall lower TCO over time.

Two Phase Immersion Cooling Diagram

UNICOM Engineering Simplifies Liquid Cooling

UNICOM Engineering starts by utilizing the technology you are familiar with and trust from leading Tier-1 providers like Intel, Dell Technologies, and HPE. Working hand-in-hand with these partners, we offer DCLC solutions and fully validated and supported immersion-ready platforms. This includes all the services required from custom design and engineering to integration, logistics, and global support to simplify the transition. Our supplementary support covers the additional needs that immersion solutions require. We can even handle the conversion to immersion while keeping the safety and regulatory certifications intact. Basically, we make liquid and immersion cooling easy.

Featured Podcast: Breaking Down Liquid and Immersion Cooling


Austin Hipes, Chief Technologist and VP Engineering, discusses liquid and immersion cooling. He then dives deep into the market drivers, types, benefits, and use cases for each.

View the Podcast

UNICOM Engineering Podcast Liquid and Immersion Cooling


Fully Validated and Supported Immersion-Based Platforms

Optimized for Immersion by UNICOM Engineering and powered by the 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, our platforms are ideal compute-dense servers designed to support dynamic compute-at-scale business requirements in a dense form factor.

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Discover The Potential of Liquid and Immersion Cooling

The quicker we start to engage the faster this can happen. We’ve provided some baseline information above, but we are much more engaging in person. Let’s discuss the technology and services that will optimize your application and drive performance.

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