Angstrom: Computer In A Fish Tank

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Liquid cooling is one of the hot-button issues in the data center world. Some see it as essential to cooling the data center of the future, while others recoil in horror at the potential that a mishap will damage equipment. Ed Burnette of ZDNet has a cool example of how one liquid cooling vendor is addressing the “hydrophobia” issue.

Angstrom Microsystems is a long-time player in the high performance computing industry, specializing in AMD solutions for use by companies like Pixar and Akamai (AKAM). Last year Angstrom introduced liquid-cooled blade servers, which use a non-conducive fluid. At the recent SuperComputing 2007 conference, Angstrom sank a working computer and monitor into a fish tank filled with the solution used in its LiquiBlade products. “Yes, that’s a real computer and a monitor submerged in a fish tank, with the power on,” Ed writes of his photo of the display. “It has not been photoshopped.” Ed has high-resolution versions available via his blog.

Angstrom says LiquiBlade can provide a 25 percent energy savings, and is positioning the product as a way to extend the life of existing data centers.


LiquiBlade is the latest offering in Angstrom’s AMS LiquiCool line of products, which were introduced last November. The company says its cooling fluid is “non-conductive, non-flammable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly” and approved under the Kyoto treaty.

“Angstrom is providing exciting, disruptive technology that strikes at the heart of our customers’ air-conditioning and power concerns,” said Lalit Jain, CEO of Angstrom Microsystems. “With our patent-pending cooling solutions, Angstrom enables scaling of high volume deployments with the most current processors the market has to offer.”

“LiquiBlade servers are an example of the kind of Green computing that can provide customers with low-cost high-performance solutions designed to operate in challenging environments,” said Ben Williams, director of Server and Workstation Marketing at AMD.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.