DataTank: Immersion Containers for Industrial Bitcoin Mining

DataTank, a new offering from Allied Control, houses ultra-high density Bitcoin hardware in immersion cooling tanks inside a 1.2 megawatt data center container.

Rich Miller

April 7, 2014

2 Min Read
DataTank: Immersion Containers for Industrial Bitcoin Mining

As larger players enter the Bitcoin mining space, data center providers are customizing solutions to deliver greater density and efficiency for custom mining infrastructure. The latest example is DataTank, a new offering from Allied Control that houses ultra-high density Bitcoin hardware in immersion cooling tanks inside a data center container.

Allied Control, a Hong Kong-based engineering company, says DataTank can "future proof" Bitcoin infrastructure, allowing miners to quickly refresh their hardware as more powerful systems are unveiled in the fast-moving technology arms race in cryptocurrency mining.

The containerized solution, which was introduced for the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York, can house 1.2 megawatts of mining gear, housed in tanks filled with Novec, a liquid cooling solution created by 3M. Each container can house six tanks, each supporting 200kW of hardware.

Inside each tank, densely-packed boards of ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) run constantly as they crunch data for creating and tracking bitcoins. As the chips generate heat, the Novec boils off, removing the heat as it changes from liquid to gas.

Modular: the Right Form Factor for Bitcoin Mega-Mines?

Allied Control says modular form factors are ideal for Bitcoin mining, limiting the amount of infrastructure needed. No raised floor environments or room-level temperature control is required, allowing the system to run with extreme efficiency (Allied Control claims a PUE of 1.01) in geography, including warmer climates in Asia. Hardware can be reduced to chips on boards, and easily changed out as more powerful systems are released for a "true wash-rinse-repeat experience" of refreshes.

"Imagine you can make computers that consist of not much more than chips on boards," said Kar-Wing Lau, VP of Operations at Allied Control. "You don't have to worry about heat dissipation, power delivery, fans, heatsinks, waterblocks, pumps, or the mechanical infrastructure to stitch all that together. Systems cost less to make and don't produce more e-waste than the strict minimum. They basically make money faster for the business that uses them, and they run extremely efficient with almost no energy wasted for cooling."

Allied Control says it is in talks with several large Bitcoin mining operations about setting up data centers in the U.S. that coudl scale to 10 megawatts of capacity. It says the 1.2 megawatt capacity of the containers allows them to be located in areas with modest power capacity, and be distributed across multiple markets.



Allied Control's vision for what a multi-module Bitcoin mining center might look like. (Image: Allied Control)

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