Microsoft draws inspiration from cryptocurrency miners to optimize data centers

There is something much better than a group of engineers thinking of solutions, thousands of groups doing it, finding new designs to optimize processes in the most diverse categories.

Something like this has happened recently at Microsoft, a company that has found inspiration by observing what some cryptocurrency miners do to optimize the energy consumption of their servers.

Cryptocurrency industry participants pioneered liquid immersion cooling for computer equipment, using it to cool the chips that record digital currency transactions. Two-stage immersion cooling can reduce the power consumption of any server by 5% to 15%.

Microsoft already has experience in submerging data centers under water, in fact it is something that we have been talking about for the last few years. These servers get very hot, so submerging them in a controlled manner helps maintain acceptable temperatures and increase their lifetime by reducing machine maintenance.

Now they have disclosed a new system, immerse the servers in a special liquid that boils at 50 degrees, so that the hot liquid is quickly transformed into steam, thus moving away from the machines. The steam is subsequently condensed to become part of the cycle again.

The details are discussed in this article with a striking title. To cool the servers in data centers, Microsoft uses a boiling liquid.

Cooling servers has become a priority for companies in the industry, as the computing industry has turned to chip architectures that can handle more electrical power, which means more heat to meet the need for performance. electronics). CPUs have increased from 150 watts to over 300 watts per chip, while GPUs have increased to over 700 watts per chip.

Christian Belady, engineer and vice president of Microsoft’s advanced data center development group, has already said that air cooling is not enough, you have to bet on immersion cooling.

For now, Microsoft has a tank that runs workloads in a data center. Over the next several months, the Microsoft team will conduct a series of tests to demonstrate the viability of the tank and the technology presented.

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