Asetek Extends Liquid Cooling Line to Servers

A server tray using Asetek's Rack CDU Liquid Cooling system, which was announced this week. The piping system connects to a cooling distribution unit. (Source: Asetek)

Asetek Inc., a leading supplier of liquid cooling solutions for high-performance gaming PCs and workstations, has announced its entry into the data center market.  The San Jose, Calif. company this week unveiled a suite of products adapting its technology for servers and racks, and is targeting the offering for the high performance computing (HPC) market, as well as financial companies conducting high speed trading.

“We have studied the server market and engaged with our customers,” said André Sloth Eriksen, Founder and CEO of Asetek. “While much of what is written suggests that the problem of data center cooling is monolithic, we have discovered the need is for a diverse set of solutions to meet specific data center performance, density and efficiency objectives. Using proven Asetek technology to engineer a range of cooling solutions gives Asetek a unique ability to address the wide diversity of cooling challenges that exist in the HPC and data center market today.”

Asetek’s liquid cooling systems use a cold plate and pump to extract heat from CPUs and GPUs, and are deployed today in hundreds of thousands of computers, the company said. The company is providing three levels of server cooling:

  • Internal Loop Liquid Cooling enables the use of the fastest processors, including high wattage processors, in high density servers.
  • Rack CDU Liquid Cooling removes processor and or GPU heat from rack servers and blades out of the data center without the use of traditional computer room air conditioners or water chillers, enabling extreme densities on server, rack and data center level. The strongest value proposition however, is that the solution uses free outside ambient air cooling allowing around 50% power savings on the data center cooling cost.
  • Sealed Server Liquid Cooling removes all server heat from the data center via liquid; literally no air from inside the data center is used for server cooling. This solution enables high density with high performance processors and ambient room temperature server cooling.

Liquid cooling provides a more efficient heat transfer than air, and offers potential savings to companies that can commit to a liquid-cooled design. It has been used primarily in high-performance computing (HPC) and other applications requiring high density deployments that are difficult to manage with air cooling.

Interest in liquid cooling has been on the rise as a growing number of applications and services are requiring high-density configurations. In recent years we’ve featured liquid cooling technology for the data center from companies including Green Revolution, Clustered Systems, Hardcore Computer, Iceotope and Coolcentric (Vette).

Asetek says its pumping systems use low pressure, which reduces failures because it puts less stress on joints and connections. The company says its liquid channels are helium integrity tested and sealed at the factory for its life time, eliminating the need for any liquid handling by the server OEM, or data center operator.

Asetek’s solutions are used by leading OEMs servicing the gaming, workstation and performance PC and data center markets. Founded in 2000, Asetek has offices in San Jose, California, Denmark and Asia.

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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.

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  1. James Jones

    Another water block solution? They don't appear to be doing a good job of cooling the Chipset or RAM do they? Hardcore, Green Revolution and Iceotope look more interesting - a lot more hitech, although googling Iceotope is the only one not using a Hydrocarbon (read flammable) coolant. I'm put off Green Revolution as they have publicly described their competition as 'over engineered' - there is no such thing as over engineered in the server industry! In my mind the big benefit of liquid cooling is the removal of internal fans, which consume masses of energy/$ and have a high failure rate. They also leave servers vulnerable to dust and dirt. I'm curious about Asetek's sealed unit, it appears to still have fans in it? I've looked on Asetek's site and it's concerning to see them referencing the ASHRAE water standard incorrectly - do they actually know what they are doing with servers or are they a gaming firm?

  2. Some clarifications regarding James Jones' post: Asetek's RackCDU solution is capable of cooling memory, see this link for an example: Asetek is also has Chipset coolers that could be integrated into RackCDU and ISAC. What to cool with liquid vs. what to cool with air is a CapEx /OpEx tradeoff. Think of it as following the 80/20 rule. The goal for RackCDU as solving 80% of the heat rejection problem by directly liquid cooling 20% of the components in the server. Regarding fans, by directly liquid cooling the high heat flux components with liquid, Asetek's solutions reduce the speed at which the fans need to run--since airflow is no longer required to cool these components. Running the fans at lower speeds dramatically reduces the power used to run the fans and should also extend their life. However, just looking at fan energy savings is insufficient to determine the total cost of ownership of a cooling system. All energy consumed for cooling from the point of heat generation to the point of heat rejection needs to be counted to compare the value of one solution to another. In addition, one needs to consider the service impacts of the solution on data centers. I'm puzzled by the comment about referencing the ASHRAE standard incorrectly. To be clear, both RackCDU and ISAC support the ASHRAE standard for water quality in the facilities liquid loop. (Liquid in the server loop is supplied by Asetek. All components of the Asetek solutions are delivered pre-filled with server side liquid.) Yes, Asetek has a strong history in providing liquid cooling solutions to the gaming (and workstation) markets. With over 1.3 million liquid cooling solutions in the field, the solutions we are bringing to the server market are able to leverage the experience, proven reliability and the cost benefits of the high volume production of our desktop cooling business.