Closer Look: Iceotope Liquid Cooling

It's been more than two years since Iceotope launched its liquid cooling system at the SC09 conference. This week the company has re-emerged at Cebit marketing a cooling system that encapsulates servers in heat pipes containing 3M's Novec fluid as its heat removal medium.

A side view of how the Iceotope liquid cooling modules slide into a water-cooled chassis within a rack (Source: Iceotope)

It's been more than two years since the Iceotope liquid cooling system was introduced at the SC09 conference. The company has been pretty quiet during that time, but this week has re-emerged at the Cebit IT tradeshow in Hanover, Germany marketing a working system.

Iceotope describes its solution as "free cooling anywhere." It encapsulates servers in heat pipe modules containing 3M's Novec fluid as its heat removal medium. Each server motherboard is completely immersed in a sealed bath of liquid coolant which passively transfers heat away from the electronics to a heat exchanger formed by the wall of the module, where water is continuously re-circulated and cooled.

The company says the system can work with water supplies of up to 50 degrees C and still keep servers cool. The Iceotope solution comprises a range of hot-swappable compute modules from Intel, AMD and other vendors that slide inside a high density, low power and fully cooled cabinet. Iceotope says a working system is installed in a data center operated by a Swiss bank.

Liquid cooling solutions like Iceotope, Green Revolution Cooling and Liquid Blade are intriguing because they offer the potential to provide effective high-density cooling without much of the infrastructure seen in traditional data centers. There are tradeoffs in cost and comfort level, but these solutions may see growing interest as data center workloads get denser and begin to resemble high performance computing (HPC) facilities that have traditionally been the primary audience for liquid cooling.

More technical details can be seen in Iceotope's presentation on Slideshare and in this 6-minute video, which provides an overview of the solution.

For more on cooling, see our Cooling Channel. For additional video, check out our DCK video archive and the Data Center Videos channel on YouTube.

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